Describing the leap into ITV as a "brand- and communications-learning imperative," Manning Field, senior vice president of branding and advertising for Chase Card Services, said: "For us this is a step in the journey. You will see us do a lot of experimentation."
Where that experimentation leads, Field said, depends not only on results, but engaging consumers in ways consistent with the Chase brand--that is, innovative, flexible, and value-oriented. From the Dish network, Chase will get specific demographic information on those households where viewers opt to enter its microsite, an environment that looks similar to the Chase Freedom Web site.
Chase is the first financial services firm to create an interactive TV ad campaign, according to The Media Group in Denver, which last year helped deliver the first ITV ad campaign for Mercedes-Benz. Since then, TMG has completed more than 100 ITV campaigns for clients including Sony Pictures and Universal Studios, Reebok, Land Rover, Lexus, Dodge, Chrysler, Hyundai, Hewlett-Packard and Tide to Go.
Chase's regularly scheduled TV commercials are embedded with a graphic overlay, or trigger, that allows viewers to use their remote control to leave the program they are watching and enter a Chase "microsite." Once there, viewers choose among several long-form commercials that demonstrate the attributes of the Chase Freedom credit card.
The ads, titled "One man. One card. Thrilling adventures," spin comedic real-life situations around a self-deprecating character who knows he is interrupting programming and speaks directly to the viewer.
A bevy of agencies were involved in making and placing the long-form ads. Zenith Media handled the buy, advised by Carat Digital's Mitch Oscar. The video ads were created by The Think Tank (T3) in Austin, Texas, with software support developed by Ensequence.
Chase launched the Freedom card in September using a remix of the Rolling Stones classic "I'm Free." The Freedom card allows users to earn rewards in either points or cash, and to switch back and forth.
A spokesperson for TMG said that at the conclusion of one iTV campaign, the client "experienced 30 times more viewer requests for car brochures (approximately 30,000) than the same campaign online (around 1,000)."