Pattern Interrupts 

In this module, you will learn what a pattern interrupt is and how you can use it in your videos to get and keep your viewer’s attention. There are different types of pattern interrupts that work well for branding your business and also in promotional ads. The videos in this module include examples of disruption, grabbing attention, being outrageous and interesting, using the element of surprise and visual and sound effects.

We hope this module explains how using pattern interrupts can make your videos more engaging and entertaining and inspires you to use pattern interrupts in your videos. We’ve included a resource guide with links to some of the elements and software we use to create pattern interrupts in these example videos.

Introduction to Pattern Interrupts

A pattern interrupt is an element that surprises or interrupts your viewer’s expectation, breaking their thought pattern and getting their attention. Think about a movie you’ve seen where you think you know what’s coming next because you’ve seen the same type of movie a million times, but then there is an unexpected twist you never saw coming. Using a pattern interrupt changes the momentum of your presentation and along the way it can also shift your viewer’s perception of your product, service or brand. The aim is to have people think “wait, what was that?” for a minute.

Most sales videos are long and have more details than anybody needs to know. Keeping your videos short and moving can greatly increase their watch time. Pattern interrupts when used occasionally and in the right places can be entertaining and get your message across.



We’ve all watched videos or attended webinars where the marketer gives some good content, but you’re just waiting for the pitch and, of course, to find out the price, right? What if those marketers used a disruption to create a more interesting scenario. If you are building a following, providing content that would be useful for your audience is a great way to keep the connection going. In this video, Kaytlin was filming a tip for her life coaching clients and Patty was making a video for her workshop participants.

When you incorporate a disruption, your audience wakes up and starts to pay attention again, especially if you have an unexpected experience like the ones presented in this video. It’s not the normal way information is delivered and that’s what makes it a very effective approach in getting people to remember your message and your brand.

Grab Attention

When you grab your viewer’s attention at the beginning, they are more likely to continue watching. Remember, you have a very limited time (some say 3-7 seconds) to get them engaged. Starting your video with an intro that relates to your product or service can make a big difference. While you will want to capture them up front, you also want to keep them watching, so using footage or images that are unexpected or different, but still relevant can enhance their experience.

Grabbing attention as a pattern interrupt also helps the viewer use his or her imagination and connect to what you are saying or offering in your sales letter, promotional video or social media ads. Videos don’t have to incorporate explosions or major events to be intriguing, just knowing what your audience likes can give you ideas about how to get their attention. 


To get the results you’re looking for, you’ll want to create videos that are memorable. Think about the ads on TV that really stood out for you, maybe they were funny or just plain ridiculous, but you enjoyed them and they gave you that “feel good moment.” Did you know that more people remember something that’s outrageous and makes them laugh? It can put you and your business in the forefront of their minds.

Being outrageous may not be for you or the type pattern interrupt you would want to represent your business, but the more entertaining your promotions are, the more you’ll have an audience that wants to come back to see what you’re up to. People like to laugh and have fun. It doesn’t mean you have to dress up and be crazy. You could simply present an outrageous statement or show how something did or didn’t work.


Surprise is the substance of pattern interrupts. When people are surprised they are usually delighted, however there can be surprises that are not so delightful. We’ve all experienced those. Using a surprise in your video can be fun. You could be talking about your business and surprise your viewers with a free gift or you could send them a link to a video that was just entertaining with a “just thinking about you” note.

Using video to simply connect with viewers can go a long way in building relationships. So, instead of thinking about the next sale, find out what your audience likes and surprise them with an unexpected video. Humor and holidays are great for staying in touch. Gifs can be embedded directly in emails and you can create gifs from a videos for free on Giphy.


Visual and Sound Effects

Visual and sound effects not only enhance your videos, but can make them come alive. Visual effects are those extra blinking lights or graphic elements, etc. that fly in and out or around your video to generate an added sense of movement and excitement.

The music you choose sets the tone of your video. If your promotion is full of energy, you will want to choose music that complements the intensity or power of the information you want to deliver.

Sound effects add emphasis to your message. We used sound effects (car horn and telephone) in the Introduction to highlight the explanation. You can find free sound effects on the internet or you can record your own. Many video editing programs let you separate the audio from the video. You can then delete the video and move the audio to wherever you want it.

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