Inbound Marketing and Interruption Advertising

Will more and more brands become independent content creators rather than placing their ads around other people’s content?

During the 37th Social Media Breakfast in Boston we heard some answers.

The conversation covered a ranged of subjects including one of the Inbound Marketing tenants that says traditional advertising is based on interruption while Inbound Marketing attracts people to your valued content without interruption.

The discussion focused on digital media, including television shows and movies.

And like many I enjoy the time shifting advantages of watching movies and television shows on services like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime. Major cable companies like Comcast are also now providing the ability to watch movies and shows when you want.

After enjoying a Hulu subscription, returning to the traditional television viewing experience I find that the commercial interruptions drive me nuts more than ever. They are often about subjects that I have no interest in, waste my time and to make the situation even worse are twice as long as ads on Hulu.

I have visited England over 15 years and seen some very entertaining commercials that made laugh. In fact, the experience was welcome and I appreciated the laugh or the thoughtfulness behind some commercials.

So, we may have a flexible definition of what an interruption is here because if I am presented with something that I want I am less likely to see it as an interruption.

However, I asked the panel why the vast majority of television commercials in the US are bad. Extending this into the online realm, we also heard and agreed about how annoying the pre-roll ads are on YouTube. Very annoying.

Tom Gerace, founder and CEO of Skyward, offered an interesting response. He asked the audience to consider the likelihood of a return to the beginnings of television. Back to when Proctor and Gamble sponsored and produced the long-running dramas now known as Soap Operas.

The entire show was their content.

He then offered a modern take using a sports theme. Consider, he suggested, Budweiser owns the NFL and broadcasts all of the games themselves. They would have all competition locked out and it would be their show. Wow, you say? That is what I said.

However, after some thought, we can see that this is what a lot of companies are doing today.  Think of GoPro and Red Bull. And now a competitor to Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, is developing made for web content targeted at women. The modern day Soap Opera. Tom clearly is on to something.

To offer another answer, after the meeting a Brit came up and suggested that back in the day the majority of television channels had no commercials. It was BBC1, BBC2. So, rival channels and advertisers had to produce advertising that would get watched. Furthermore, he noted that these cable providers were willing to be more edgy and show advertising about condoms for example.

Going forward companies will be telling stories that people love. This means there will more and more service providers and product makers creating, owning and publishing content as opposed to buying ad spaces in other people’s content.


Start creating content, telling stories, preferably in video format that your clients will love. Not about your company or services directly, but more like GoPro which shows how people use their product and allows people to aspire. Or take the Soap Opera model and provide quality content that your audience will love.

(This is a post from November 2014 that never got published. Still good advice.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *