This week, Verizon Wireless began running so-called Silent Ads. These are copies of existing television ads, without any voice tracks (so only the background noise and music play, usually at a quieter volume).
Silent Ads are intended to force viewers to look up, and notice television ads that they have already seen. By modifying the original commercial, a viewer is more likely to not dismiss the advertisement. This type of advertising is considered offensive by many, because it annoys a viewer subconsciously into re-watching an advertisement that they’ve already seen… and dismissed.
Verizon’s silent advertising campaigns generally run on late night TV shows, as that is where advertising agencies consider it the best time to run such ads. The advertisements continue their “It’s the network” campaign.