05 Oct 2015
Ad Agency Denver Colorado

Five Reasons Why Interruption Advertising Doesn’t Work

Interruption advertising has a long and rich history in the advertising world. Television ads since the dawn of television are all interruptive. Many people growing up with television and radio think of all advertisements as interruptive, because their programs were always interrupted by ads of one kind or another. Today, with the rise of digital media, social media, and more sophisticated web content, consumers expect less interruptive advertisements. Consumers throughout the world are paying billions of dollars to avoid from interruptive advertisements. People pay for services like Spotify and Netflix in part to get away from interruptive advertisements. While there are some instances in which smart interruption-based advertisements can be useful, as most marketing firms will tell you, interruptive advertising has to evolve or get left behind altogether. Here’s why:

  • Interruptive advertising has become a bad word. Companies have seen their customers boycott their brands because of “annoying” and “invasive” advertising. As I mentioned above, this is why people pay a monthly fee for the privilege of watching commercial-free television on Netflix. Some web services have limited interruption advertising and allow the customer more control over the advertisements they see, but even these ads have turned customers off.
  • There’s no reason to go back for more information. Once an interruptive ad has finished, there’s little reason for the consumer to go back for more information. The consumer is in the middle of his or her favorite show or online video. They want to finish what they’re watching before they do anything else.
  • It doesn’t reach a target audience. Interruption advertising isn’t geared toward any target audience. It’s typically used to broadcast a message to anyone and everyone who happens to be paying attention to whatever content they choose. This lack of a target audience limits the effectiveness of a given advertisement’s message.
  • It’s expensive. These days, to use interruption advertising campaigns well, your business has to have a huge advertising budget set aside. If you have a small business and you’re working with one of the small, local advertising firms around, you likely won’t have enough in your budget for effective interruption advertising campaigns.
  • Expiry date. Marketing firms put a “shelf life” on the advertisements they help create for companies. Each individual campaign can only run for a defined period, and when it expires, you have to start over or launch a new campaign.

Interruption advertising is slowly fading into a thing of the past for most companies. Because they don’t have the same captive audiences as they used to, interruption advertisements have declined in effectiveness. This is especially true for small, local businesses that use small, local marketing firms to draw up their ad campaigns. Chances are, your business can’t afford to annoy too many customers in your market, and you can’t throw the kind of money at interruption advertisements that large corporations do. It’s a better option, usually, to stick with a more personal, targeted approach to your marketing so that you can use your advertising budget more efficiently.


Adam is a graduate of Colorado State University (bachelor’s degree in marketing), and he has experience on both the client and agency side of the marketing world. These experiences led him to come up with a unique, more efficient business model, which he’s incorporated into Encite Marketing. Adam sets the strategic direction for all Encite projects, developing integrated marketing campaigns that bring results. He takes a consultative approach with clients, educating them about how the process works, and keeping them in the loop about end goals, steps, and tasks.