Business case studies No 165 - 17.02.2017

Winning friends and influencing people: a creative approach to the commercial break

This week’s egtabite features an innovative approach to the traditional ad break, turning it into a live performance seamlessly integrated into television programming. The concept combines native advertising and influencer marketing, delivering maximum viewer attention and thereby ensuring that people stay engaged right through the break.

The concept

The live ad break was developed by the SevenOne AdFactory, part of SevenOne Media (the sales house of ProSieben TV channels in Germany). The late-night show Circus HalliGalli, hosted by the popular comic duo Joko and Klaas, was selected to trial the live ad break, the first time the concept had appeared on the nation’s TV screens.

In their first show after the summer break, instead of a traditional commercial break interrupting the programme, the two hosts staged a live advertising break and promoted the featured products themselves. Joko and Klaas advertised the brands in their own way with specific jokes and humour, while still delivering the underlying advertising message of each product. It took brave clients to get on board with this project!

SevenOne Media signed up Pickup Mini biscuits, Bahlsen cookies, the vegan salami Rügenwalder, Levi's, Mentos, Disney and its movie Finding Dory and Gillette for the project. These clients, who placed their trust in the sales house, were rewarded with boosted reach and maximum audience attention. All this thanks to the authenticity of the content, which as a result did not seem like a commercial break to the viewers but rather a seamlessly integrated part of the programme. This concept goes beyond simple product placement, and it is better described as native advertising or influencer marketing.


The special commercial break delivered a great reach of 1.13 million viewers in the 14-49 target group (audience share of 12.9%). The reaction of the viewers was very positive as well, many taking to social media to comment on the live ad break and specifically mentioning the shown products (30% of all social media conversation included brand names).

The clients that participated in the special break were enthusiastic and happy with the results.

Thomas Ludwig, from the Rügenwalder-Kommunikationsmanagement, commented on the project: “We were happy to belong to the first movers on this radically new concept. Innovative products like ours require a type of communication that dares to move away from the classics.”

Sonja van Daelen, Brand Manager Pick up, Bahlsen Deutschland, also noted: “Of course, we were really eager and, to be honest, also a bit nervous to see the result of this action, as we had in fact only given our input at the beginning of the process. But courage belongs to Bahlsen’s values. Joko and Klaas have very well implemented this live-advertising idea in a creative and entertaining way.”

Why does this matter to egta members?

Viewers trust and relate to the hosts and personalities on the TV shows they love, making them powerful brand advocates for influencer marketing. The live ad break concept demonstrates that television – a medium that has engaged audience and driven brand success for many years – continues to innovate and offer advertisers effective ways to connect with consumers at scale.

Native advertising and influencer marketing are highly effective communication platforms when combined with the reach of TV, and they also raise the profile of television when executed with style and panache. egta members around Europe have been developing creative formats to enhance the so-called “stickiness” of ad breaks. Channel 4 had already shown the way in 2010, for example, with the “Comedy Gala break”, featuring the famous British comedian Jimmy Carr.



» Dedicated page incl. video of the adbreak (click here)
» Press coverage (click here)


» Download in PDF (click here)


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