[ About Us | Popular | Marcom | AdNet | IChannel | Glossary ]

Jul 7, 2008

NEWS: Interactive TV ads are clicking with viewers

By Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY

Looking for ticket buyers, the Los Angeles Sparks women's pro basketball team recently tried a new ad play: A TV commercial during which viewers could press a button on their remote to get a team brochure.

Hundreds responded. "Whoever was on our billing information as head of household got the information," says Jim Heneghan, ad sales chief for cable company Charter Communications, which created the "interactive" TV ad and sold the time to the Sparks.

Cable operators such as Charter, as well as their satellite TV rivals, all are experimenting with such ads. Their goal: battle Internet media for ad dollars by merging a TV commercial's impact with former Web-only selling points such as interactive content, ad targeting based on consumers' personal data and precise effectiveness measurement based on how many people click on an ad for more information.

With a traditional 30-second spot you only know how many people saw it, says Sam Chadha, marketing director for deodorants at consumer products giant Unilever, which has used interactive ads for several products, including Degree deodorant. "Interactive TV lets marketers also study consumer behavior in response to the ad."

Making TV spots work harder is one of the ad industry's most discussed — and elusive — goals. Already, two-thirds of big marketers said standard TV ads became less effective in the past two years, according to a January survey by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research...

New Efforts to Make Long Commercial Breaks Sizzle

Published: July 7, 2008

SUMMER in the city. Humidity, long lines for the Hampton Jitney and worries on Madison Avenue about how to get viewers to sit still during commercial breaks.

This year, for the 2008-9 television season, the networks are betting on a panoply of pod-busters — unconventional content meant to entice viewers to pay attention during the commercial breaks, which are also called pods.

“If I could get half those people to turn their heads toward the screen, I’ve significantly increased the value of my client’s commercial,” said Kris Magel, senior vice president and director for national broadcast at Initiative, a media agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Making pods more alluring has become a necessity since the networks agreed last fall to use ratings for commercial viewing, rather than for programs, as the standard for sales to advertisers. Results for the 2007-8 season were skewed by the writers’ strike, but in homes with TiVos and other digital video recorders, viewers increasingly wander off during long, cluttered pods.

“Longer pods, with more commercials, have gotten crazy,” said David Sklaver, president at KSL Media in New York.

“It’s feels like a sea of advertising,” he said of the long breaks. “You’re inviting viewers to leave instead of giving them reasons to stay.”

Companies like TiVo and TNS Media Intelligence can even track second by second what viewers are tuning in or turning off, making the challenges even more apparent.

“Advertising has yet to respond to the reality that people can choose whether they want to watch or not,” said Michael Lotito, chief of Media IQ, a media analysis company. “That puts pressure on to work harder.”

So networks are experimenting with several kinds of pod-busters. Here are examples:

¶Brief programs, called mini-sodes, micro-series or bitcoms, are sponsored by marketers. Think of them as shows that interrupt commercials that interrupt shows.

¶Clips, also sponsored, combine elements of commercials and programs. Many feature cast members of the shows in which they appear.

¶Promotions for network shows appear inside episodes of other shows, thanks to special effects. For instance, a truck in a scene of the Discovery series “Mythbusters” briefly displayed a reminder to watch a coming episode of another Discovery series, “When We Left Earth.” The embedded tune-in, as Discovery calls it, lasts three to five seconds...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments accepted immediately, but moderated.

Support Our Sponsors: