The button "could turn into a signal for ad relevance or basic affinity toward advertising," Piesanen said on a panel at the NATPE event. Of course, getting viewers to take advantage will be a challenge, although an incentive could be offered.
Piesanen, who works in strategic partner development for TV Ads, added: "I'd love to have Canoe-enabled 'like' badges, where people vote on commercials they like or dislike. That would be awesome."
Canoe has a request-for-information system in circulation, in which an advertiser can run an ad with a banner prompting a click-through and a viewer can ask for a product coupon or sample through the mail. It was not clear whether Google TV Ads would offer advertisers using its auction-based system a chance to run ads with the "like" button, or iTV ads at all.
The TV Ads system, Piesanen said, has roots in Google's search advertising model, where users only pay for ads that are clicked on. A pay-for-impressions system is part of TV Ads.
Google's move into TV Ads involved immense focus on the type of spots that have been around for decades. "We have invested literally hundreds of engineering man hours in understanding commercial engagement and audience engagement with good old-fashioned 30-second spots on linear television," Piesanen said. "Within the engineering and product sales groups at Google ... interested in an expanded definition of television, our interest ... believe it or not, started" with traditional ads.
Moving forward, Piesanen offered an expansive view of the need for granular metrics for viewer measurement. The end game? "How many commercial impressions did an advertiser get among the sort of exotic demographic of RV owners who make $250,000 a year and support charities across their viewing on the Web and television and mobile."
However, he said there may be a move away from measuring program viewing.
But Cathy Hetzel, president advanced media and information at Rentrak, said that even as commercial ratings become entrenched, program ratings can offer networks insight into effective genres and marketing strategies, while advertisers can obtain guidance.
"It is really important to understand the viewership [for] specific shows," she said. "It is a currency and a basketful of currencies that exits today, that allow us to be able to think about what the likelihood of the size of an audience is for a particular program, which is a guide for advertisers to understand where to place their buys."
She added that program ratings can then be intermingled with various databases to provide insight for advertisers into the demographic characteristic of specific audiences.