The Pros and Cons of Interruption Marketing

Well, if we’re going to talk about the various aspects, philosophies and strategies for marketing, we’re inevitably going to have to acknowledge the black sheep of the bunch, interruption marketing. Since the advent of radio and television for entertainment, interruption marketing has solidified itself as the go to expensive advertising system. It’s a rite of passage for companies, being advertised on television.

To television and radio users, interruption marketing is met by one of three responses. Disinterest is uncommon, but it does happen. Some just consider it a time to get up and go do what they want, since classic television and radio playback lacked the ability to be paused or rewound.

Still fewer are engaged by them. Some people genuinely like commercials. But these are rare people.

The majority of people hate interruptions like this with a passion, but just grin and bear it, because what can they do? They reconcile it with themselves by considering it a way to make things like cable and quality programming more affordable (which in a way is true).

However, given the changes underway to our technology and our entertainment delivery, this can’t last. For the moment, though, it’s gotten even worse online, with web video being interrupted by them as well, and other disruptive things like interstitial ads and popups that make users wait, in order to continue.

This sort of marking is a captive scenario, where the user has no choice but to sit and be advertised to, until allowed to move on their way. It’s rude, it’s annoying, and it makes it hard to enjoy programming to any level.

This has given rise to some of the issues that are widely (but ignorantly) talked about in governments and court houses, such as piracy and illegal video streaming.

People are turning to illegal stream providers, which do not force commercials on them, to enjoy their entertainment. Either that, or they download them with something like a torrent client.

So, there are some obvious disadvantages to this these days. Those who do endure them walk away and ignore them, or develop hatred for your company due to hating being bothered with commercials.

However, in small doses, it can work fairly inoffensively. The problem is that over the decades, it’s creeped from being just a few minutes per half hour up to being over ten minutes of interruptions, meaning twenty minutes of programming on the half hour.

It’s best to abandon this model now, in favor of something like a pre roll set of advertisements that are very, very short and effective in their presentation. This should never last longer than a minute total, meaning four companies could advertise their stuff for fifteen seconds each, give or take.

Interruption marketing had its time of benefits by making things cheaper, and giving people breaks (before on demand became a thing), but it’s gotten out of hand, and everyone’s pretty much sick of it. So, it’s best to avoid this one if you can. Modern reinterpretations of it, such as interruptions in mobile apps and web pages, just make people want to punch a puppy. Angry customers are not happy customers, or customers at all most likely.

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James Mello
James is the Lead Author & Editor Product2Market of Blog. James writes for the Product2Market blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Marketing.
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