A blipvert is a very brief television advertisement, that lasts just one or several seconds. The term "blipvert" was coined by George Stone. The word is a portmanteau of blip, a brief sound, and advert, the British abbreviation for advertisement.
The term and concept were popularized in the 1985 film Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future and the first episode of the 1987 science fiction television show Max Headroom. In the film and TV show, "blipverts" were a new high-speed, concentrated, high-intensity television commercials lasting about three seconds. Their purpose was to prevent channel-switching during standard-length commercials.
Real-life examples of compressed advertising
Master Lock, which had already made the image of a padlock shot by a sharpshooter into a lasting advertising image with their ad in the Super Bowl in 1974, incorporated that video image, along with its logo, in a one-second-long television commercial in 1998.
In May 2006, GE introduced "One Second Theater," television commercials with additional material included as individual frames in the last second of the ad, for frame-by-frame viewing with digital video recorders. When viewed at normal speed, the frames flash by rapidly, much like blipverts.
Miller Brewing Company aired a one-second ad during the Super Bowl XLIII football game in February 2009. The ad featured Windell Middlebrooks, who had been featured in Miller High Life ads since 2006, standing in a warehouse filled with High Life boxes and quickly shouting "High Life!"
In September 2006, term "blipvert" was used by security researcher Richi Jennings to describe new kind of image-based spam email with animated GIF pictures showing subliminal "BUY BUY BUY" messages for very short period of time (10-40 ms).
- Time, http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,988820,00.html "Blink Of An Ad" Time.com Retrieved on 04-24-07
- Mavity, Ryan. Cape Gazette. "Middlebrooks delivers the High Life to Coastal Delaware. . Aug. 27, 2009.
- Richi Jennings: New Spammer Tactic: Blipverts: Stuff 'n' nonsense about email, spam, travel, and life in the UK