Colgate, Benjamin Moore hail interactive ads

18 January 2010

NEW YORK: Colgate-Palmolive and paint firm Benjamin Moore have welcomed the success of a US interactive TV advertising trial.

Promotional offers launched by firms participating in the initiative had to be withdrawn early, such was its success with viewers.

Cablevision, an operator with 3.1 million subscribers in the Tri-State region, began trialling the technology late last year via a product known as Optimum Select.

The promotions offered items such as gift certificates and product samples from participating firms.

These were accessible through the viewer clicking buttons on their remote controls.

The technology therefore allows advertisers to use web-style promotions as part of their TV marketing strategies.

Cablevision's trial offered corporate participants two-week tranches in which to deploy their interactive advertisements.

However, the offers were generally withdrawn after just one week, as inventories of products attached to the promotions ran too low due to unexpectedly high customer demand.

Colgate-Palmolive said 70% of the customers who asked for extra information about one of their products via interactive advertising eventually participated in a product giveaway promotion.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Moore said it received 25,000 viewer requests for samples as a result of its ads, which ran during the early autumn, when householders traditionally plan their home renovations.

Dan Calkins, a general manager for the supplier, said: "We had difficulties keeping up with the demand and suspended it for a few days to get some more resources involved.

"It's enough of an indication directionally that we'll continue to do more of this going forward."

There is also evidence the technology could benefit smaller, local advertisers.

For example, the Mount Everest Ski & Snowboard Shop in Westwood, New Jersey saw its footfall boosted after offering promotions such as free equipment maintenance through Optimum Select.

Bob McGarry, manager of the outlet, said: "This is something that holds the customer's attention, gives them the opportunity to get something for free and opens another door for return business because they're actually coming into the store."

Meanwhile, David Kline, president of Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, which operates ad sales for Cablevision, said that the technology could carry significant benefits for broadcasters.

"The rich data and metrics of the web [were] available on television until now," he said.

"When you mix those with the power and impact of TV, advertisers like that and are willing to pay more for that."

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff