Videotron and etc.tv launch interactive TV ads on demand
Media Experts has seen the future of TV advertising - and it is interactive, on-demand, and called etc.tv. The iTV Lab division of the Montreal-based media management firm spent three years developing this new TV ad model and is now working with Videotron to deliver Canada's first advertising-on-demand network into Quebec homes through the cableco's illico interactive system.
Media Experts has seen the future of TV advertising – and it is interactive, on-demand, and called etc.tv. The iTV Lab division of the Montreal-based media management firm spent three years developing this new TV ad model and is now working with Videotron to deliver Canada’s first advertising-on-demand network into Quebec homes through the cableco’s illico interactive system.
Etc.tv is not a new channel option on the dial, says Mark Sherman president of Media Experts; it’s the beginning of a new era in TV advertising where the consumer is increasingly in control of their entertainment and ad consumption.
Sherman explains that if, for example, a typical brand sell spot for Campbell’s Soup comes on, digital homes would see an etc.tv icon on the screen to let them know that an extended, enhanced piece of video information is available. When select on the remote control is pressed, an overlay drops down over the ad telling the viewer that a half-hour show on cooking with Campbell’s Soup was available. Three options would be offered: to watch the cooking show right away by pressing A on the remote; to bookmark the cooking show for later by pressing B; or to do nothing and return to the live program stream by pressing C.
Bookmarking the program doesn’t cause the program to download and take up space on the viewers PVR but rather, like other VOD content, allows them to call up the content from Videotron’s hard drive while still having the functionality of a PVR including stop, rewind, and fast forward.
Sherman says, ‘Etc.tv has been designed specifically to bring increased value to viewers (viewer-users), distributors, broadcasters and the engine of the commercial television model; Canada’s advertisers.’
In an industry where innovation has previously meant placing an ad sideways in a newspaper, he says, this is real innovation, one that brings advertising into the realm of interactivity and video-on-demand.
‘We have some pretty strong views on where television is going and how it is going to look down the road. etc.tv is a kind of a bridge that enables you to get more information – and that information, that drill down, is a TV show or a long-form ad or infomercial, any type of branded content or demonstration of product attributes and services.’
Etc.tv also gives advertisers accountability and the ability to talk to qualified consumers who opt-in to view long-form ads and branded programming.
Videotron has 1,450,000 cable customers in Quebec, 308,000 of them subscribe to its illico interactive system. Etc.tv will be in test mode until rollout in summer 2005.