School, TiVo Crash Movie with Ads

By Erik Oster 

Project: WorldWide agency School and TiVo recently invited 100 people to a free screening of Spectre. Unknown to the invitees was a little catch: the movie would be interrupted by ads three times. 

Of course, School filmed the prank as TiVo’s next ad, and the results were pretty much what you’d expect. The audience met the first commercial break with confusion and annoyance but when a second and then third ad followed, things got heated. At least one moviegoer even walked out.

“Getting interrupted right at the climax is brutal,” Joe Corr, chief creative officer at School, told Adweek. “But you might think it’s just a technical problem. So we came back two minutes later and then 10 minutes later with the same three ads, and they went ballistic…when we went back in with interruptions two and three, people started to lose it. It was chaos. Wine bottles and popcorn containers were in the air.”

Afraid people would really lose control, they turned up the house lights and explained the stunt was meant to point out that people shouldn’t welcome such ad intrusions at home either, something TiVo could help with. To help diffuse the situation, School and TiVo set up something of a reward outside the theater.


“While everyone was inside the theater, we staged the lobby area with demo stations, photo booths, an open bar with themed drinks, and a station where every attendee got a new TiVo Bolt tied up in a silk bow,” explained Corr.

With a pretty adaptable basic premise, School has at least one sequel in the works. “We’re talking about more pranks we can do that would show how interruptions ruin different experiences,” said Corr. 


Client: TiVo

Agency: School
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Corr
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Craig
Creative Director: Andrew Goldin
Art Director: Kiley Del Valle
Copywriter: Ryan Craig, Max Lenderman, Andrew Goldin
Executive Producer: Angela Barnard
Agency Producer: Gigi Douglas
Account Executive: Sherena Elharmell
Designer: Hailey Badovinac

Production Company: Buck Ross
Director: Ryan Ross
Director of Photography: Jeffrey Garland
Producer: Alex VanNortwick
Assistant Director: Tom Farnsworth
Editor: Lam T. Nguyen
Post Producer: Ryan Ross
Color: Buck Ross
Colorist:  Lam T. Nguyen

Sound Design: Coupe Studios
Producer: Eric Singer
Audio Mix: Alex Hawley