Rogers squeezes in a new TV ad unit

The new "fade to black" ad unit will allow advertisers to sneak in bite-sized messages in a way that Rogers says is "PVR proof."

Rogers is making the most of its commercial breaks by squeezing in another ad unit. The media company has introduced a new “fade-to-black” unit, which incorporates a very short ad (approximately three seconds) into the “fade” part between the content and the commercial breaks. The units play at the beginning and end of every commercial break, with a longer 30 or 60-second commercial featuring the imagery from the shorter ad units playing at the end of the program.

The first brand partner for the unit was WestJet, which aired its ads during the action series 24: Legacy (with a buy by Media Experts) on April 3. Janice Smith, VP of national media sales, told MiC that Samsung has since also executed a campaign with the unit (buy by Starcom). She said more fade-to-black ads are lined up in the near future.

The ads can be sold as a template of four occasions in one episode, culminating in either a 30 or 60-second ad in an hour of programming, but up to six occasions in a one-hour program can be sold. The purpose of selling them in these kinds of packages, said Smith, is to create a “brand story” for viewers.

Smith said Rogers believes it is the first media company to use the fade-to-black transition as an ad unit.

While Rogers is billing the ad units as “PVR Proof,” Smith said that is more of a side benefit of the units and that they were not created solely for that purpose. The new unit, she said, was created to reflect “bite-size pieces of information similar to how we consume our social networks like Instagram.”


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