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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate The Powers Of Interactive TV
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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Powers Of Interactive TV

At the turn of the millennium, the hype surrounding the world-changing marketing potential of interactive TV had reached such hyperbolic heights that you could have been forgiven for selling your house and buying shares in Microsoft’s then fledgling (and ultimately doomed) Bay Area TV venture.

But then everyone just kind of forgot about the marketing potential of Interactive TV and it quickly became eclipsed by the reverential hysteria around the internet, smartphones and tablets. For many years, Interactive TV began to resemble a once dotted on teenager seething in the corner as everyone gathers around to marvel at its fresher faced siblings, but was it being done a huge disservice?

Is it now time for the idea of interactive television to rise again to take its rightful place as a powerful tool for marketing?

Here are 5 reasons why it may be time to stop underestimating how useful interactive TV could be to you marketers out there.

It could allow us to avoid repeating the mistakes of internet marketing

Interactive TV shouldn’t have to be (in theory) as obtrusive as the pop-ups that are becoming the bane of many internet users lives because as will be explained in more detail below, the interactive TV adverts will be a far less blunt object than most internet adverts. The personalised advertising of sites like Google and Facebook is the model that interactive TV marketers should be aiming for.

It can lead to some really inventive and integrated campaigns

An explaination of what I mean here is the kind of forward thinking campaign launched by Coca Cola in Hong Kong in late 2011. The ‘Chok’ campaign combined consumers TVs with their smartphone to create a really interesting example of customer-brand interaction.

Every night at 10pm a Coca Cola advertisement would air on TVs around the city, and as long as you had downloaded the specialised app on to your smartphone, the advert became a game where you had to catch bottle caps to try and win a prize. During the campaigns first month the app was downloaded over 380,000 times.

This is just one example of the way that interactive TV can be integrated into much broader campaigns involving smartphones, tablets and other devices to create really unique and memorable consumer experience.

It may be able to get the attention of the “advert-avoiding demographic”

During an interview last year, Tara Maitra of TiVo explained that one of the key benefits of interactive TV from a marketing perspective is the idea of re-connecting with the great swathes of people who no longer connect with TV advertising. With the growth of catch-up and services like Sky+ people can simply skip the usual advertising breaks altogether.

Interactive TV marketing , commonly called advanced marketing too, is one potential way for marketeers to regain some semblance of control over their advertising campaigns and ensure a degree of customer interaction.

It could allow brands to target their campaigns more

Following on from the advertising pioneered by Google, Facebook, Amazon and others, interactive TV would allow for personalised TV advertising to become the norm based on user information and preferences. This would mean that brands no longer have to try and market their products to everyone knowing that large swathes of their potential audience aren’t going to care.

Another part of this increasing personalisation of advertising would be the ability to ‘click’ on a TV advert to be taken to the company website or to receive options and deals.

A new environment for apps

Another exciting area where interactive TV could really come into its own is becoming a new and exciting space for apps. This could take the form (as pioneered by the BBC) of using phones and tablets to provide viewers with supplementary, or more detailed, information as they are watching a programme.

Another way that this could be utilised is by taking advantage of the fact that TVs generally have a much larger screen surface than personal computers and laptops.

All in all, it is beginning to look like interactive TV could begin to establish itself as an incredibly versatile and exciting way to revitalise the marketing world in the next decade.

What do you guys think about the marketing potential of interactive TV, is it all hype or time to start taking notice?

Street Talk

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