Interruption Marketing is a business and marketing term coined by Seth Godin
Most of the marketing we experience each day could be called Interruption marketing. The best example of interruption marketing is the commercial breaks that break apart TV shows on any commercially funded channel.
The theory is that if you were giving your attention to a TV show, you will continue to pay attention to a short series of ads. Interruption works because it exploits passive TV viewers. Most people who are watching TV are reclining on a sofa, and will happily watch through many commercials before they become impatient.
Research has shown that most people do not change channels when the ads come on. Although users are not actively paying attention to the ads, they are usually unconsciously aware of what they have seen.
Historically, Interruption marketing has been one of the best ways of generating brand awareness. Entire categories of goods (especially FMCG) depend on this kind of advertising to keep people buying their brand.
Unfortunately for advertisers, this theory does not work too well on the Internet. Web and email users tend to be active – Internet users find interruption far more annoying than TV users. A good example of annoying interruption is Spam.
Recently software and systems have become available that can filter everything from Spam emails to web-banners and annoying superstitials (pop-ups). Any banner can be filtered. Any unsolicited email can now be avoided. The Internet is becoming a harder place for traditional advertisers, who find that the Internet makes interruption harder.