Fast-forwarding Commercials Gets Tricky for Consumers

by on November 13, 2012

in L&S

About a year ago, I blogged about what the ad world came up with to “sidestep” the DVR—bugs. Now, advertisers are committed more than ever to commanding the attention of certain televisions shows’ audiences during commercial breaks.

In order to get my point across, I need to confess a dirty, little secret—I watch “Pretty Little Liars”–yes, the TV show for high school tweens. As I was watching this show, time-lapsed of course, and started to fast forward through the commercials, I caught a glimpse of one of the characters. As any avid TV watcher would do, I clicked “Play” and suddenly realized I was duped!

Below is the TRESeme commercial that was playing. It uses two actresses from the show “Pretty Little Liars” to promote its product in the context of the show, thus tricking viewers into stopping for the commercial.


This commercial tells a story using the product in a way that would resonate with the show’s target audience. Another example such audience duping is what Neiman Marcus and Target are partnering together to accomplish through the ABC show “Revenge” this weekend.

Last Sunday’s episode was the first of its kind–a new style of TV advertisements capturing the entire ad time during the episode. If viewers skip these spots with a DVR, they’ll miss five separate extended commercials featuring the cast in a “story within a story” format that will look like it was pulled right from the program. These will also be extended to online viewings of the show and to VOD services.

Is it possible that this is the new age of television commercials, pointed at sidestepping the DVR and capturing the viewer’s attention? Tune into ABC, every Sunday at 8:00pm, to see it for yourself!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara A November 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

Those Sneaky Little Advertisers! ;)

Katie Fritz November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

I have seen this same thing done on Bravo with the Real Housewives. Our guilty pleasure programs!

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