What is Video Pattern Interruption? [With Examples]

Author: Trent Knuppel

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As a content creator, producing high-quality marketing videos may come easy to you. However, there may be some questions you’re not considering. For example: “is my audience giving their full attention to this entire video?” or “Are they retaining all the important information I’m giving to them?”

With the average human attention span being about eight seconds, the likely answer is no

Whether you’re a vlogger, digital marketer, teaching an online lecture, or anything that has to do with making videos, pattern interruptions are necessary for the benefit of your audience. We know how easy it can be to become sidetracked or to start daydreaming when we should be focused. To combat this, you can integrate Video Pattern Interruption into your videos - this tool allows your viewers to regain their focus on you and your video’s content. 

In this article, you will learn:

  • What video pattern interruption is
  • Why you should use it
  • Examples and best uses 
  • How often to use it

Video Pattern Interruption Explained

A video pattern interruption is any visual change that sparks and re-focuses a viewer’s attention. If you’re a content creator at any level, the last thing you want to do is lose your audience’s interest. A pattern interruption’s main purpose is to bring the viewer’s attention back to you and the content in your videos.

“Pattern interruption is a part of human communication in general. Public speakers have always understood that in order to be engaging, they need to change things up by being witty, animated or unique.”
                - Jeff Coon, Partner at Stream Creative

Pattern interruptions are an essential part of language processing even in everyday conversations, which is what Jeff is saying here. Including these interruptions in your videos will take them to the next level, and your audience will appreciate it.

Why Should You Use Video Pattern interruption?

gettyimages-516212144-vpi-popupA video pattern interrupt is crucial for your audience because it allows them to concentrate on you and your video. Including pattern interruptions are simple, easy to use and it’s completely free! There are plenty of reasons to use pattern interrupt, a few of them are:

Keeps your audience engaged

Holding your viewer’s attention isn’t always enough. The main goal in your videos is to elicit a reaction from your viewers. Ideal reactions include comments, sharing and clicking.

Eliminates boredom 

Another important goal for your video is to make sure your viewers are excited about your content. If they lose interest and start dozing off, they’re likely to bounce off your page.

Positions your brand/product favorably

Depending on the type of interruptions you use, you can position your brand and content as fresh, new and innovative. You see unique approaches to pattern interruptions on successful YouTube, Vox, Twitch and Vimeo accounts.

Examples and Best Uses of Video Pattern Interruption

Word Pop-Ups: This is the most simple pattern interruption, yet one of the most effective. This is simply a word or phrase that pops up in big text across the screen, which supports and emphasizes what you’re saying. 

Image or Video Pop-Ups:
Similar to the previous example, video or images are another great way to bring your viewer’s attention back to your video. If you choose to use a video pop-up, consider using it without sound so you or your video is still heard.

Polls: Bring your audience’s attention back and keep them engaged with a pop-up poll and answer options.

Thought or Speech Bubbles: These are a fun way to interrupt your video and refocus your audience. 

Sound Effects and Interjections: Sound effects and interjections will make your video or topic memorable as well as show a fun side to your brand. Think of the classic, cartoonish “POW!” or “ZAP” pop-ups—they grab people’s attention in a fun and effective way.

Background Change: This is a great way to disrupt the autopilot observer mode that many viewers will enter after watching a video over a short time.

For example: If your background is a cityscape, briefly change it to an underwater or outer space scene. Be creative!

Tips: Especially effective in tutorial videos, showing tips that relate to what you’re saying across the screen is a great way to interrupt the pattern.

Switching Camera Angles: If you have multiple cameras, a great way to interrupt the video pattern is to simply switch the camera angle. Try not to overdo this one—changing camera angles every 15-20 seconds is a good place to start.

We've shared some of our favorite video pattern interruption methods, but as a content creator, don’t be afraid to get your creative juices flowing and try new interruptions! 

Important Note: Any visual or audio change is considered an interruption, but you must be thoughtful in your approach and execution. As you select an interruption, consider what reinforces your video message and what you want people to take away from your content. Being cognizant of both creativity and marketing goals is the best way to go about implementing pattern interruptions in your video.

How Often to Use Video Pattern Interruption 

It is also important to note how often to use interruptions in each video. Using pattern interruptions shows your audience that you take a sophisticated approach, put effort into your content, and like to show fun and excitement. There is a difference between this and a circus-style approach that your audience might perceive if you go overboard with the interruptions. When you add too much video pattern interruption, viewers can get distracted and may even lose interest completely. 

How will you use video pattern interruptions in the future? Leave a comment and let us know. We hope you find these tools useful in your content creation!

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About the Author:

2020 Intern for Stream Creative pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism, majoring in advertising and public relations.

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