Canoe Issues Guidelines For iTV Symbol

Canoe Ventures has issued guidelines for networks, operators and advertisers as it looks to tip viewers off to an ad with interactive capabilities. Under Canoe’s plans, spots will include an “ExpandTV” logo on the screen, signaling that the remote control can be used for further engagement.

The ExpandTV tipoff is intended for both advertising and programming,with an opportunity to explore additional content. Canoe has trademarked ExpandTV.

In its guidelines available at ExpandTV.com, Canoe offers some options for a “brought-to-you-by” message that might accompany the logo-on screen. One example would be: “[Network] presents [XYZ] program, enhanced with ExpandTV and brought to you by [Advertiser].”

Canoe also suggests that an “Enhanced with ExpandTV” message be included in tune-in ads in print. Canoe is a consortium of the six largest cable operators seeking to build a national interactive TV platform. It hopes the brand will become an industry standard, appearing in spots it facilitates and others that operators may serve themselves.

The Canoe guidelines say that the “Expand” and “TV” cannot be separate colors, but the full logo can be in many hues to be more visible, depending on the background. The logo itself cannot be altered. “Otherwise, the brand’s image could be negatively affected over time,” Canoe writes.

The ExpandTV logo was “developed with the intention of being complementary to other logos,” although it does not have to be attached to a network or other moniker. The ExpandTV mark can vary in size, but never be less than 25% the size of a complementary logo such as a network’s.

On one level, Canoe hopes the ExpandTV logo will offer viewers “peace of mind” that their privacy will be protected as they engage in interactivity. So in that sense, it will function as sort of a “UL” mark.

Vicki Lins, Canoe CMO, stated that the cable industry now has a “program that the entire industry can rally around to promote the adoption of iTV.”

ExpandTV was developed by a group headed by Canoe that also includes: the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB), the Cable & Telecommunications Association of Marketing (CTAM), Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs) and the six Canoe owners (Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable).

Bob Liodice, head of the Association of National Advertisers, stated that the group supports the industry’s “move to accelerate viewer awareness of and comfort with interactivity.”

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