Two of the biggest US television networks are offering advertisers 'clickable video' technology as part of a menu of opportunities to reach consumers on the web.

The service has developed from NBC's decision last year to spin off its soap opera Passions exclusively for the internet.

A viewer watching Passions: Vendetta on could move the mouse around the screen and click on parts of the action. The clicked scenes were then bookmarked to visit later to get more information about the show.

The aim was to get people to look at more pages - and as result view more ads from the show's sponsor, cosmetics giant Maybelline. The broadcaster, owned by General Electric, was "blown away" by the results.

Rival network CBS says it will offer clickable video on its various web properties if there is demand from advertisers. The company's new advertising-supported broadband TV Innertube [WAMN: 08-May-06] would be a natural spot for the technology.

NBC is to offer another Passions spin-off and is exploring an option allowing consumers to buy items from shows. A viewer could click on a featured car, for example, and be taken to the website of a local dealership.

Both networks are touting clickable video as part of their pitches to advertisers in the current upfront airtime sales.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff