Fox serves new ad length in Thanksgiving football

This Thanksgiving, Fox serves a new ad length in its football coverage.  A common tradition in many American households is watching NFL football as the family and extended family gather around the television cheering or booing as the game unfolds. But this year, your viewing experience may look a little different.  Fox network is implementing a new development in advertising and the way we watch commercials. They are adding a new ad length.

During this year’s football game, six-second commercials will be the new ad length and appear in the form of a small, square clip adjacent to the on-going program. You will be able to watch the game and view the advertisement at once, obliging the viewer to look at the ad instead of changing the channel or getting up from your seat while the game is paused and the commercials are playing.  During the Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving Day, 9 “double-box” ads will play, replacing a single standard commercial block that is typically two minutes and twenty seconds in ad length. Depending on audience reaction, this could be a regular occurrence during games across all networks.

Why is Fox doing this? What’s wrong with how commercials are typically ran?

In an effort to combat the impatient internet era, Fox has developed a new ad length and less disruptive way to experience product advertising on television. These new ad formulas were tested during the MLB World Series this year and are the continuing efforts of Amanda Herald, Vice President of media strategy and business development at the NFL. “We are working with Fox on a viewer study that involves watching fans watch the game, including their biometrics,” states Herald, “We’ll also then ask those fans after the game about their sentiment toward the broadcast. Did it feel more commercialized than typical or less because it had one less ad break?”

Is this invasive or innovative?

This is an extremely contemporary and creative outlook on viewer relationships with the advertising experience. It is not only a huge development for advertising, but also the consumer. This new ad length saves time and efforts for both involved, ensuring that each is getting what they want. For the viewer, it means less commercials;  for the advertiser,  it means a definitive way to know their product is receiving exposure. And this way, everyone can be happy.