Category: Interactive/Enhanced Television

  • by September 26, 2005
It's been called the "Internet on steroids," and this year's interactive TV finalists show why, imagining new possibilities for engaging viewers and proving there is, indeed, life after the 30-second spot.


Agency: MediaVest

Client: Kraft

At a time when many in the ad industry are wringing their hands over TV platforms like digital video recorders (DVR) and video-on-demand (VOD) that put consumers in charge of content, MediaVest devised a strategy recognizing that mothers, one of client Kraft Food's core consumer groups, really need to control the time they spend with TV. To cater to moms' special needs, MediaVest crafted a special program sure to appeal to moms and their families around one of the busiest mom seasons of all -- the winter holidays -- and gave moms the ability to watch it when they had time to do so. Working with DVR provider TiVo, cable VOD departments, the A&E television network, and People magazine, the MediaVest team created an on-demand program celebrating famous moms: A&E's "Hollywood Home Movies." The result: MediaVest found that moms love to time-shift. While details of the results are confidential, both TiVo and cable operators say the program's VOD ratings exceeded expectations across all channels.

Agency: Fallon

Client: Lee Dungarees

Media plans increasingly try to incorporate interactive TV features to provide a novel approach that might engage consumers. Fallon strategists used this approach for a Lee Dungarees campaign because they knew interactive TV would play to the specific media habits of the target audience: Young men 17-22. Fallon's research found that young men like to control their media, are obsessed with music, and like to consume TV and other media simultaneously. So the Fallon team combined all of these attributes into an interactive TV advertising campaign based on MTV2's "Control Freak," a show that lets viewers select upcoming music videos.

Fallon dubbed the strategy simulcasting -- as in the simultaneous use of media -- and built the effort around Lee Dungarees' new "spokesdoll" character, Buddy Lee. The problem: Fallon had to quickly educate viewers on the back-story of Buddy Lee, and sell some jeans in the process. The solution: Fallon negotiated a takeover of "Control Freak" for six weeks and incorporated Buddy Lee vignettes into the programming, allowing viewers to select one of three endings to each of the Buddy Lee vignettes. Over the course of the six-episode schedule, more than 60,000 viewers voted to determine the outcome of the program. Awareness of Lee Dungarees grew 6 percent, while Buddy Lee's visibility grew 11 percent.

Agency: Media Storm

Client: Food Network

Faced with the daunting task of launching a spin-off of Food Network's popular "Iron Chef" series amid a cluttered TV landscape, agency Media Storm ironically chose the medium of TV itself -- but with an interactive spin -- to generate the necessary buzz. The ingredients varied slightly by market, but all spots used interactive technology to enable viewers to either sample clips from the upcoming show's launch, or to "usher" new viewers to the Food Network. Daily logs of interactive TV meta data file were analyzed by Media Storm to refine the next day's flight, manually optimizing the campaign by daypart, network, program, market, and platform with a level of interactivity that was more akin to an online campaign than a TV ad effort. The interactive campaign garnered a good response, and the premiere episode of the series was the highest rated regularly scheduled show in the Food Network's history.


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