X-Files fans who watch the show’s new episodes on the Fox Now app will be able to choose commercial-free viewing by engaging with an interactive experience from the upcoming film Deadpool from 20th Century Fox.
The experience is enabled by technology from true[x], which like Fox and 20th Century Fox, are all owned by 21st Century Fox.
The commercial-free offer comes as TV companies attempt to reduce the commercial loads in shows in order to lure viewers back from subscription services like Netflix and compete for ad dollars with digital competitors.
21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch has been vocal on the subject, arguing that TV needs to be more innovative in coming up with ways to air programs with fewer, more engaging ads. Fox’s biggest hit, Empire, has run for two seasons with limited commercial interruption, a feature that might be contributing to its popularity.
The commercial-free episodes of the X-Files will be available on Fox Now beginning Jan. 25.
The Deadpool ad unit shows a 30-second trailer for the film which stars Ryan Reynolds. The ad invites viewers to interact with a deck of playing cards that feature the film’s main characters. After 30 seconds, they can interact with more Deadpool content (and share it on social media) or they can choose to watch the full X-Files episode uninterrupted.
“This is a spectacular and innovative approach to advertising that is becoming the new standard for delivering quality content to consumers in an on-demand world,” said Marc Weinstock, president of domestic theatrical marketing, at 20th Century Fox. “We’re excited to be bringing Deadpool to viewers of The X-Files in this way.”
Deadpool opens in theaters on Feb. 12. “This is an amazing fit for fans of The X-Files,” said Alex Van Camp, VP of West Coast sales at true[X]. “They’re likely excited for Deadpool, too, and the interactive experience will get them even more pumped... while making it possible to eliminate commercial breaks in these new episodes.”
True[X] says its technology creates advertising experiences that are 100% viewable and 100% bot free while empowering consumers to control the ad load in the show they’ve chosen to watch.
The entertainment category lends itself very well to this approach, “Premium content in whatever form, whether theatrical, television or otherwise is extremely important to true[X]. and the fact that we've worked closely with not just Fox, but with the likes of Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal is further testament of the entertainment industry's desire to invest in the power and credibility that engagement advertising provides,” Van Camp said.
Last year, Fox Now carried commercial-free episodes of MasterChef Junior that featured a similar interactive campaign.