Interactive TV Advertising: DEAD In Water! But Digital TV Is Alive & Kicking

Interactive TV advertising is DEAD in the water! There, I said it. And while I am at it, so is video-on-demand advertising. It's been 15 years since Time Warner's Orlando Project, and these advertising vehicles have seen broadband video and mobile advertising capture more hearts and minds of advertisers in a much shorter amount of time. So, put a fork in them.


Now, even though iTV and VOD advertising are dead, as of June 8,  digital TV advertising is very much alive and kicking, beginning to deliver on all the promise of the last 15 years: the sight, sound, and motion of TV with the accountability and consumer-response mechanism of the Internet. Because of conveniences such as the DVR and VOD, consumers look to their TV remote to do more than change the channel. And with these capabilities come innovative advertising opportunities for marketers.

I won't use the "C" word, "convergence" -- OK, I just did. So sue me. Now that every TV is a digital TV, we finally have one unifying place in which to put iTV ads, VOD ads, advanced advertising, enhanced advertising, (you can stop me any time now) emerging advertising, activation, and now IPTV. You can't expect advertisers to put their trust in something if you can't even agree on what to call it.

Now, since everyone from PC Geek magazine to People loves Top 5 lists, here a few of my own. First....

The Top 5 ad Units of Digital TV

  1. Program Guide Banner Ads
  2. Video on Demand :30's
  3. Branded Destinations
  4. Linear :30's with Polling / RFI overlays
  5. Linear Addressable targeting

Next --  I talk about this one a lot...

The Top 5 Things Digital TV Should  NOT Be

  1. A Web site accessed on a TV
  2. A one-off execution
  3. Disruptive to consumer viewing patterns
  4. Just interactive or just branding
  5. A threat to TV ad dollars

And finally....

The Top 5 Things Digital TV Should Be

  1. Simple and convenient place for consumer to get new and/or recycled information
  2. Integrated with elements of the overall communications plan
  3. Adding value to current viewing experience
  4. Creative ad placements tailored to meet client goals
  5. Enhancement to TV ad dollars

So please, let's get our heads out of 1994 and starting talking about 2010 solutions for advertisers. Let's talk about raising brand awareness, brand recall, and purchase intent. Let's talk about the consumer convenience of engaging with a brand via the remote control. Let's talk about "what's next" for advertisers. Let's talk about digital TV.

3 comments about "Interactive TV Advertising: DEAD In Water! But Digital TV Is Alive & Kicking ".
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  1. Rich Reader from WOMbuzz, October 29, 2009 at 1:39 p.m.

    Blame the message & its' gurus, but neither the messenger nor the medium. The obstacles perceived through worn-out spectacles and narrow points-of-view are illusions, as long as the intent of the interaction is to cram the wrong messages down the public's collective esophagus.

    If the gurus ask the wrong questions, they will get the wrong answers. If they don't listen carefully when asking the right questions in a multitude of phrasings, and they fail to carefully analyze the responses for subtle nuances, it doesn't matter just how right the questions were.

    Audiences don't interact with content that they do not find sufficiently engaging.

    When agencies and their creative archetypes pay attention to social media's rules of engagement, and invest sufficient energy wisely into those rules, they will be richly rewarded. If they stick to their "traditional wisdom" whereby they pretend to control the game and take shortcuts at every step, then they will find themselves ejected from the playing field.

  2. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., October 29, 2009 at 2:32 p.m.

    Liked the lists. Just got done giving a talk on internet video programming. Here are my lists:

    What internet video programming is NOT:
    1) Encoded TV Shows
    2) Encoded Public Domain Movies
    3) 99.99% of what is found on YouTube and other video sharing sites
    4) “User Generated” (as a rule)

    What internet video programming IS:
    1) Engaging, informative and entertaining
    2) Interactive at several levels
    3) Distributed throughout the web (found at several locations in several formats)
    4) Professional (in concept as opposed to execution)

  3. Robert Rosenthal from Rosenthal Heavy Industries, October 29, 2009 at 5:29 p.m.

    Agreed, Chris. But whatever it's called, the tipping point has been reached as the more enlightened marketers are jumping in.

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