Commentary

More TV Discovery At The Point Of Impact: Program Promos

Watch a commercial for a show -- and then click on that ad to watch it? Sounds easy enough -- actually, pretty obvious.

Peel, the TV remote control app, is now selling networks a new ad format for their programming promo needs, allowing viewers to tune into or record a show while watching a commercial about the program. Peel announced it had sold the app to effort History to promote the channel’s new mini-series, “The World Wars.”

Personal recommendations -- whether from friends, personal history algorithms or strangers -- can only go so far, even when they come attached to a link. But a video commercial can offer a more direct approach in attracting new consumers, especially those ready to take action.

Commercials are always a disruptive process. With viewers already engaged in  “consumption” mode with their remotes, Peel believes it can increasingly give users another disruptive ability: To call an audible at the line of scrimmage. So long “Bachelorette”; Hello “24: Live Another Day.”

We all know that clicks can be used to get more information. How about clicking to get the actual product?

In part, TiVo has been doing this for some time during commercial breaks for its linear network partners: Viewers can immediately start recording a show while watching a commercial for it.

Peel says viewers don’t want to watch trailers for a show on their phones, but rather the show itself  on their TVs. It believes it can help TV discovery, especially for less-well-known and less-advertised shows.

In an increasingly tougher world of promoting programs, with a still-growing array of linear and digital networks, it makes sense for remote control makers, as well as for app creators, to pursue these possibilities -- even if “scale” from such advertising platforms can be challenging.

It’s in viewers’ hands, after all.

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