Behold! The Terrible, DVR-Proof TV Ad

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Watching this ad for Grasshopper phone systems, you might not notice anything amiss. Watching this ad for Grasshopper phone system while fast forwarding, you still probably won't notice anything amiss. And that's the whole point.

The ad foils commercial-skipping DVR users by planting a brand icon—that grasshopper there—in the middle of the screen throughout the ad, and ending with a simple information panel. It looks more or less the same whether viewed at regular speed or high speed, so even if ad-skippers don't have to sit through the audio pitch, they still end up absorbing some of the ad's information, in theory. Another neat trick: By using this gimmick, Grasshopper has fooled numerous bloggers into posting about their ad. Planning on spending your commercial break browsing Giz? Ha. Grasshopper'd.


If they have the choice, people don't watch ads, and increasingly, people do have a choice. I imagine we'll see more than a handful of awkward stunts like this over the next few years, at least until traditional TV advertising falls by the wayside, replaced by something more akin to the unskippable ads we're starting to see in online video. [Adrants via Gawker]