Cablevision to Launch Clickable TV Ads

Cablevision announced today that it will begin rolling out interactive TV ads, allowing viewers to use their remotes to “click” on a commercial in order to get more information.

Interactive ads in Cablevision’s Optimum Select program will have a small banner that says “Click SEL for More” rising up from the bottom of the screen. When a consumer clicks on the “Select” button on their remote, the programming shrinks to one-quarter size and moves up to the right-hand corner. Taking its place is a marketing message from the advertiser with the option for the user to click again to receive product information or samples. Since Cablevision knows the TV viewer’s address, it can subsequently fulfill any product requests as well.

The TV industry has been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the problem of the diminishing power of the 30-second TV ad, a problem that was fueled in no small part by the cable companies that brought cheap, ad-zapping DVRs into the home (Forrester projects that 31 percent of U.S. homes will have DVRs by the end of this year). Networks have tried everything from “remote-free TV” to microseries, and new TV Everywhere plans coming to the web from networks and MSOs will prevent ad skipping altogether.

The cable companies even formed their own consortium, Canoe Ventures, to create interactive and targeted ads, though Canoe has had to scale back its initial plans.

Cabelvision’s introductory Optimum Select campaign will roll out next month to all of its 2.9 million digital cable subscribers, with between six and 10 national advertisers participating.

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