Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 2001

Definition: Bookend

This is a type of advertising in which a 30s ad is split into two 15s ads shown at the beginning and the end of the commercial break, separated by ads in between that which are not related to the product/subject of the bookend ad. This technique is used in TV as well as radio. It may even be used in print media (where a newspaper/magazine or single page may start and end with an ad of the same company.)

The two 15s ads aren’t two completely different ads, they follow some kind of pattern so that they make sense together as an ad of a single company, the second one is a continuation of the first. For example, the first ad maybe a notification of public interest, as with healthcare brands, followed by the second talking about the product related to the first issue highlighted. The first maybe a question, the second an answer. They may also be just two ads that function well individually to highlight the brand/product, and do the same when put together, with the second one just adding some more details to the first.

The reason why this type of advertising is used is because of its added benefit to the brand. The audience tends to remember better the first and last thing they see/hear in a commercial break. Also since the ad comes on just when their TV/radio show goes into a commercial break and just before it returns, even those audience that tend to surf channels or divert their attention in other ways when the show breaks are likely to catch these ads. The most important point why these two 15s ads aren’t just the repeat of one ad and actually two different ads, the second one being the continuation of the first, is that the audience’s intelligence is engaged as they connect the two. Thus, the ads go into the mind where they are actually thought about and worked upon, hence making them more likely to be remembered. This strategy increases the overall impact of the same amount of time i.e. 30s.

Unfortunately there aren’t any famous examples in the Indian advertising industry of this type of advertising; in our commercial break the same ads are repeated. But one can find a number of examples in the real estate industry, house-cleaning services, automobile buying-selling in international advertising (YouTube may provide some aid).


Hence, this concludes the definition of Bookend along with its overview.


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