By: Richard M. Coad [Chief Creative Officer]
[Image Source: Bravo Network]
Perhaps you’ve seen some in your living room. You know, while you’re watching your favorite TV show? In the corner of the screen, a logo pops up and a mini-commercial plays around it, or sometimes in it, while the rest of the screen is filled with your program. Marketers call those little pop-up messages “bugs,” and it’s the latest way they hope to grab your attention.
Today, the idea that your program segment remains uncluttered while you’re trying to watch it seems to be crumbling. Broadcast Networks CW and Fox have both embraced the idea of selling “bugs” to advertisers. Time Warner’s Turner has allowed bugs on its entertainment networks. Still, there are a few holdouts, like CBS.
Why the rising interest in interrupting the actual entertainment portion of your program? Perhaps viewers are growing more resistant to traditional commercials. According to Christopher Vollmer, partner and leader-global media and entertainment at Booz & Co., “There are advertisers who are concerned about losing ratings to growing DVR playback and who want the networks to provide reach that cannot be skipped. There is no doubt that advertisers and their agencies are pushing for more innovation.”
Let’s face it, this sort of interruptive marketing surgery wouldn’t have stood a chance a decade ago. But today’s tech-savvy viewers are all too aware of seeing multiple, on-screen elements on digital tablets, smartphones and computer screens. Perhaps bugs won’t bug them. Even on their favorite TV shows.