This morning’s NPR piece about “Pod-busting” Ads caught my ear as I’m always interested in ways advertisers are integrating themselves more into subtle ways of promoting their goods and services. The story highlighted “commercials that look like a show” and commercials that have the stars from the show. The piece took the angle of how advertisers are beginning to “skooker” those that try to skip the ad by fast-forwarding through the commercial.

The piece even highlighted the more interesting approach of linking the commercial to social and how the show/commercial will drive you to connect with your friends online giving the advertisers not just a place to promote (online), but arguably more importantly the “…data, second by second, what viewers are doing in these commercial breaks, so we have a better sense of what works and what doesn’t work”. This breakthrough is potentially more significant as it draws a true understanding of the specific audience the advertiser is after. It is not a “Nielsen” test batch – but as close to a behavior analysis as possible without actually being in the room to see their emotions (which isn’t that far off by the way).

Even more interesting, or comical, were the comments after the posted NPR article. Viewers posting “I felt snickered” or “This is why I don’t own a TV” didn’t even realize that the same concepts employed on TV are even more prevalent online (even the place where they were posting!) and seem perfectly fine with it. A recent search on “Linked In” for a friend involved in the advertising business brought up three very specific books about interests of mine – as well as the business of my friend.

Many argue that Pod-Busting advertisements are interruptive or “sneaky”. I see it differently: Advertisers have finally reached the level of Value-to-Promotion parity: they have begun to travel the road of matching my interest with an educational or value added promotion. Those advertisers that are not watching the analytics or providing value will simply be “Podbusted” and “Snookered”.

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