According to this article at Access Atlanta, TV execs are putting pop-up ads in television programming because they feel that normal TV ads aren't getting enough respect.
I never realized TV ads were respectable.
So you're lounging at home watching the heartwarming movie "Father of the Bride Part II" on TV. Actor Steve Martin is stressing. His wife and daughter are both pregnant. And then -- bam! -- up pops an advertisement superimposed over part of the TV screen.
"Expecting a baby?" the ad asks. "Call American Express Financial Services."
Within about 10 seconds, the ad is gone as the movie rolls on in the background.
The experimental ads ran this summer on TNT, and executives at the Atlanta-based cable network don't rule out using more pop-up ads.
None of this might be happening if traditional 30-second commercials got more respect. Many consumers treat them as an excuse to change channels. Advertisers worry they are losing their punch. And network executives fear commercial-skipping TV devices will make them obsolete.
So the TV business -- trying to battle back from a depressed ad market -- is trotting out a host of tactics that continue breaking down the already low barrier between commercial time and entertainment.
Revlon bought its way into a story line on the soap "All My Children." (Susan Lucci's character arranges for her daughter to spy on a corporate competitor -- Revlon.) "Survivor" participants competed for sips of soft drink Sierra Mist and servings of Doritos. Both are products of show sponsors. A short-lived reality show on the WB network was called "No Boundaries," which, not so coincidentally, is the tagline for Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer, an SUV. On "The Other Half" talk show, advertisers reportedly can buy guest spots. (A Hyundai executive gave advice on car buying and leasing, according to The New York Times.)
"Advertisers are beginning to feel out what the new models of TV advertising are going to be," said Bob Thompson, the director of Syracuse University's Center for the Study of Popular TV.