Hallmark to Offer Shorter, More Exclusive Ad Pods

In a bid to carve out some clutter-free inventory for its clients, Hallmark Channel has developed a new commercial format that features shorter, exclusive pods.

Mutual of Omaha has signed on as the first “Fast Break” sponsor, taking point on the initiative with next week’s 9-11 p.m. movie (June 23-26) and the 7-9 p.m. movie on June 28.

Each of the exclusive breaks begins with a sponsored 10-second bumper that alerts viewers that the program they are watching will be back in 30 seconds. A standard spot follows out of the bumper, and then the Hallmark Channel content kicks right back in again.  

“Each Fast Break is designed to exclusively showcase a single advertiser’s product in a clutter-free environment, and is intentionally brief so that viewers stay tuned-in to both the network and the sponsor’s message,” stated Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Hallmark Channel. “Clients are increasingly concerned over the amount and length of commercial pods on television; this endeavor will provide greater awareness and ROI for our clients.”

Hallmark Channel already enjoys some of the highest commercial retention rates on cable. Per Nielsen data, in the first quarter of 2009 the network retained 96 percent of its prime-time audience (percentage is derived upon comparing live-program and C3 ratings for adults 18-49). In that same period, the average retention for the 75 ad-supported nets was 93 percent.