The positioning of television advertising, whether first in the ad break, ‘mid-pod’ or the last commercial can have varying degrees of effect and resonance with viewers. Further, the placement of ads adjacent to contextually relevant programming can enhance the impact of the communication on the viewer, with new technologies enabling this process to achieve greater results.


Television advertising positioning is the place where commercials fall within an advertising break – sometimes also known as a pod. Both context and positioning can have a bearing on the success of the advertising. Context refers to the tone and topics of the surrounding content, and the other ads in the break.

Key insights

1. Context is a key influence on ad engagement

In an age where advertising is engaged with more personally, on the move and on different devices, context has become of paramount importance. It is not just about inappropriately placed ads, but the timing, the media environment and the mood of the recipient to the message and its objective. Responsibility for getting it right lies not just with the media planner, but art directors and account planners, too, need to build the end game – the context of the received message – in at the start of the creative development.