One of the hurdles that could hold back widespread adoption of interactive television is the numerous templates needed for creative execution. For over a decade, conventional practice has been to
communicate interactive advertising messages through the use of multiple overlays.
We have all seen these overlays. The common experience is, once viewers "click" their
remote, they are brought to another overlay (or walled garden) from which they can select a coupon, catalog, or perhaps a telemarketing call-back.
Since the beginning of
the interactive television movement, integrating the graphical overlay and the offer has been the accepted approach. But I think this institutional viewpoint won't be with us for much longer.
With most media companies integrating lower third graphics and video content, use of the overlay may lessen as the next generation of clickable technologies is released.
instance, instead of using an overlay, the "call to action" could appear in the same television frame as the advertiser's Web site address and toll-free number. The same commercial could
conceivably air across many interactive-enabled media outlets without employing unique overlays.
For agencies, the focus then should be to establish a very simple metric
regarding television engagement. Engagement metrics might not be generated by tuning data or addressable advertising, but instead derived from a single remote control "click."
While today's interactive experiences include on-screen polling and multiple choice questions, the scale required for nationwide interactive advertising hinges on establishing an
engagement formula tied to a single "click." The formula should be as simple as a "yes, no, or maybe" proposition. Yes
-- I am interested. I
clicked and followed up on the offer. No
-- I am not interested. I did not click. Maybe
-- I am interested. I clicked. I have not
followed up on the offer at this time.
Measuring television advertising engagement using "yes, no, or maybe" is easy since the only action required is a single remote control
"click." Obviously there will be some engineering involved to establish how to collect the data in a privacy-compliant way and how to link the TV "click" to the Internet for tracking; however, a
loosely coupled scheme (or data dictionary) consistent across all silos should speed both advertiser and viewer adoption.