In the age of now, right-this-second media consumption, it’s officially harder than ever for brands to get their target audiences to sit still for a 30-second television spot. And the rise of DVR ownership has made it easier than ever for a whole key demographic of tech-savvy, potential customers to breeze right by commercial blocks — the only thing separating them and the last, thrilling minutes of their favorite show.
For a couple of years now, we’ve seen brands, tired of the fast forward button, turn to a type of covert advertising dubbed “podbusters,” or “DVR-busters,” that mimic the style, look and feel of the show you’re watching. So well, in fact, that you may have to hit the pause button to make sure you aren’t missing the big finale of this week’s episode of the NBC comedy Community. That’s the idea anyway. NPR aired a story on this advertising strategy, detailing the pros, cons and consumer reaction.