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A blipvert is a very brief television advertisement, that lasts just one or several seconds. The term "blipvert" was coined by George Stone.[citation needed] 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[edit]

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.[1]

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!"[2]

E-mail blipverts[edit]

In September 2006, term "blipvert" was used by security researcher Richi Jennings[3] 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).


  1. ^ Time,,10987,988820,00.html "Blink Of An Ad" Retrieved on 04-24-07
  2. ^ Mavity, Ryan. Cape Gazette. "Middlebrooks delivers the High Life to Coastal Delaware. [1]. Aug. 27, 2009.
  3. ^ Richi Jennings: New Spammer Tactic: Blipverts: Stuff 'n' nonsense about email, spam, travel, and life in the UK

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