In today’s advertising ecosystem, brands need to communicate with their clients in a creative, meaningful way and in a non-intrusive, safe environment. TV is the perfect destination. Belgian sales house SBS was the worldwide pioneer of an original format to reach viewers in exactly that way: Pause Button advertising.

The SBS Pause button, which was awarded Silver at the Belgian AMMA Awards and a Silver Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival was recently upgraded. This week’s egtabite digs deeper into the Pause Button 2.0. and the new features of this innovative way to turn pause into an advertising medium.

Ready, Pause, Go!

If a viewer needs a snack or a bathroom break while watching their favourite show, they can simply click on the pause button on their remote. That same moment a static billboard is displayed, without audio or video, while an advertising message appears on the TV screen in a large format. Thanks to this technology – developed in collaboration with the largest Belgian telco provider Telenet – a free screen is turned into a non-intrusive ad – something which can be done during live, catchup as well as time-shifted viewing.

The pause allows advertisers to use this precise moment to catch the viewer’s attention. Furthermore, the viewability of ads in this format of advertising is outstanding as the viewer sees the ad twice – when they press the pause button once and when they resume their TV programme, as they need to press play again to continue watching. Thanks to more than 1.6 million Telenet set-top boxes, pause button campaigns have a penetration of more than 60% of Flemish (North Belgium) households.

Therefore, pause button advertising offers a 100% certainty that a brand will be seen by a viewer. The viewer is not disturbed, and the advertiser manages to create a moment between the brand and the viewer in a non-intrusive way, which is a win-win situation for both sides. The 100% viewability of an ad without a TV commercial being necessary, makes the Pause button ideal for branding.

Pause button 2.0

The award-winning innovation, which was launched in 2015, has now received an upgrade, with three key improvements compared to the first version.

The updated version, better attuned to clients’ needs, now allows advertisers to choose the desired start and end date of the campaign.  Advertisers are also able to determine the number of impressions depending on their available budget.

Moreover, Pause button 2.0 offers flexible buying modalities, such as impression-based buying, additional targeting options, as clients can choose the TV channel, the day or the time slot when their ad is featured. The format can also be bought as an extension of SBS’ commercial Brandcare packages, featuring sponsoring, product placement, branded content and more.

Next steps

SBS is on a constant alert to launch new creative formats that meet the advertiser’s objectives and respond to the viewer’s needs. For example, this year a “see-through advertising” also known as “ad without a break” for MediaMarkt has been successfully developed and nominated for a Webby Award, a prize presented by “The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences”. Stay tuned, more information will follow in the upcoming egtabites.