• Understanding Pause Ads and How Marketers Can Take Advantage

    When streaming first gained popularity as an alternative to cable, one of the main benefits it promised viewers was the elimination of advertisements in the middle of their content. Now, most streaming services offer lower-priced plans that require viewers to watch commercial breaks, and despite the cost-benefit, many subscribers find these advertisements irritating. 

    To alleviate these common frustrations, streamers like Hulu, Peacock, and Max have introduced a new ad format: enter pause ads. 

    What are pause ads?

    Pause ads appear when viewers willingly stop their content, usually after a delay of around five seconds. Hulu first introduced the concept on their platform in 2019. Today, these ads take several different formats, depending on the streamer, and appear intermittently, depending on the frequency of pausing and the content the viewer is watching.

    What are the benefits of pause ads?

    Pause ads are the perfect antidote to viewers’ short attention spans and advertising fatigue.” Since viewers are so used to the traditional, 30-second advertisement, the novelty of pause ads can draw attention and interest to the screen. 

    Viewers have a better opinion of pause ads compared to standard commercial breaks, according to Variety, but over a third of those surveyed still view them as somewhat or very unfavorable. Staying on viewers’ good sides is essential to getting a return on investment, so advertisers should tread carefully when designing and implementing their pause ads.

    How to Create an Effective Pause Ad

    Image credit: together.nbcuni.com

    Sposto Interactive’s work for Discovery+ shows just how effective the limited screen space that a pause ad takes up can be. In an ad for Martell Blue Swift, the company uses bold, clever copy against a backdrop that features its color palette to foster brand recognition. Below that is an image of the product, the brand’s logo, and musician Janelle Monáe. A QR code next to the words “scan to order” turns the ad into a shopping experience.

    Above all else, pause ads should feel personalized. NBCUniversal, the parent company to Peacock, has a feature known as the Peacock Power Break,” which uses viewer data to display ads “customized with color, copy, and imagery.” Visuals that are tailored to the individual are more likely to grab their attention and lead them to engage with the ad. 

    Image credit: ellinesantos.com

    This ad is effective because, although it only takes up about a third of the screen, it makes use of as much vertical space as possible —  allowing the viewers to understand the brand, the product, and the purchasing process within a few seconds. Using a celebrity spokesperson is an added bonus for viewers who are familiar with her, but doesn’t detract from the ad if viewers are not. 

    When creating a pause ad, a play on words about pausing or taking a break can help win over viewers. SimpliSafe’s “Home security that never pauses” ad is an effective example of being contextual while still highlighting the company’s offerings. 

    Image credit: variety.com

    Before Hitting Play on Pause Ads

    Pause ads are still new, which means the format will undoubtedly continue to evolve in ways that advertisers can’t predict. Get in the game while this new avenue for ads is somewhat untapped and novel to viewers. Power Marketing’s expertise as early adopters of emerging technology helps us consistently provide our clients with top results. Want to learn more about how we can help you perfect your approach to pause ads? Contact the team today.