‘Podbuster’ Ads, Calculated To Make You Hit Pause

Unilever -- the conglomerate behind products from food (Hellmann's mayonnaise and Lipton Tea) to body wash (Axe and Ponds) -- bought into the 'Mad Men' aesthetic with a series of podbuster ads designed to evoke the look and feel of the AMC drama.


Dressed To Impress: Unilever, a conglomerate behind various products, from food (Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Lipton teas) to body wash (Axe and Ponds), bought into the Mad Men aesthetic with podbuster advertisements that evoke the TV drama’s look.

January 12, 2011

Call it smart advertising ??? or bad boundaries. You may have noticed a spike in the number of TV commercials designed to look and feel like whatever show you’re watching. They’re called podbusters, DVR busters or interstitial ads, and they’re designed to remove viewers’ fingers from the fast-forward button during blocks ??? or “pods” ??? of ads.

The advent of TiVo and similar devices can be thanked for the rise of the podbusters. About 40 percent of households have DVRs ??? meaning 40 percent of households can easily zip past commercials. Think of podbusters as speed bumps for ads.

Earth Calling: Networks have been known to create podbusters of their own, like this one for Torchwood: Children of Earth, which promoted the BBC America series on … BBC America.

Source: YouTube

Ever had one of those, “Hey, I thought of that years ago!” moments? I vividly recall discussing something just like this ten years ago in an ad class with some people I was working on a project with. The specific tech this is working against wasn’t really on the radar yet, but the notion of ending the bright-line distinction between TV shows and the ads that support them was exactly what we were talking about.


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