Interactive TV, A Perfect Storefront

FOCUS: INTERACTIVE TV

By: Chris Conderino, EVP, Director of Planning, Mercury Media New York City

As a New York media buyer for several years, I have always said that television advertising should act as an extension of a company’s storefront, meant to lure shoppers in and make the cash register ring.  Today, as marketing budgets shrink and CMOs are asked to show results for every dollar spent, this philosophy is truer than ever.  My advice to marketers is to put their TV ad dollars where they will have the biggest impact on their bottom line – Interactive TV.  When it comes to media storefronts, there are few as enticing.

Right now, there are 37 million Interactive TV homes in the US and that number is growing every day.  We know who these viewers are, where they are and what they like to watch.  Thanks to the newly issued Video Consumer Mapping Study from the Center for Media Excellence, we know they prefer to watch TV over any other medium and that most households are watching television eight and a half hours per day with a remote control in their hands, fingers poised on the buttons!

In addition to convenience, Interactive TV offers an ideal blend of reach and targeting.  Marketers can continue to benefit from television’s large scale exposure, but now, 37 million homes can be mapped to find a marketer’s most qualified prospects.  This advanced targeting comes from the media providers –cable MSO’s, telecoms and satellites –who use set-top-boxes to track the behavior and preferences of their subscribers geographically.  Advertisers can then use this information to identify their most promising targets; even customize commercials to better appeal to each group of potential customers.  Better yet, these customized commercials can be response-enabled, offering access to additional information, or the ability to make a purchase, with the simple click of a remote.

Many marketers have begun to recognize the value of Interactive TV as a next generation storefront and are testing the waters with great success.  Disney is at the forefront of this movement, reporting tremendous response and conversions of respondents from viewers to vacationers.  Unilever is using Interactive TV to promote many of its brands, including Dove and Axe, and has been so impressed with the medium that it held an “upfront” to negotiate Interactive TV inventory.  National sports franchises, like the LA Dodgers, are distributing season schedules and paraphernalia via Interactive TV and major food brands, like Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, are telescoping to cooking videos and distributing recipe books and coupons.  Brands like Bose, Best Buy, Nike and Tide are all adding overlays to their television commercials.   Some marketers are using interactive “polling” features to learn where to traffic specific product messaging.  Colleges are inviting viewers to take “on demand” campus tours and real estate companies are showing homes to potential buyers via interactive programming.  Financial service companies, like Ameritrade, municipalities and healthcare marketers are also using Interactive TV to educate viewers and disseminate information with a simple click of the remote control.

Television has always had a lot to offer marketers and consumers:  credibility, familiarity, maximum visibility, entertainment, information, engagement, sight, sound, motion and high-definition on the big screen.  Now it offers response in one click, 14 clicks faster than the typical online transaction.

What a perfect storefront!

Chris Conderino is Executive Vice President and Director of Planning for Mercury Media where she is responsible for growing the agency’s strategic planning capabilities to support all client industries and business units, developing and growing custom services for the agency’s corporate clients and developing the agency’s Interactive TV capabilities.  Before joining Mercury Media, Chris launched three full service media departments within creative agency shops and two direct response companies including TBS Direct and Zenith Optimedia Direct, where she was responsible for $600MM in billings.

Contact her at cconderino@mercurymedia.com

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5 Responses to “Interactive TV, A Perfect Storefront”

  1. SmorpcoxBoops Says:

    Amazing, I didn’t know about this topic until now. Cheers!!

  2. Kara Carnley Says:

    i really never thought about that point. but also i’m a real newbie about that.

  3. Wilda Diruzzo Says:

    Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my watch live TV shows and movies site?

  4. Marcelene Younge Says:

    Hey bud I’ve really had a blast reading up your posts I’ve found them rather informative, Can’t wait for your next post! Speak again soon =]

  5. Wynell Cavalaris Says:

    Super-Duper web-site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

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