Canoe Issues Usage Guidelines For ExpandTV ITV Brand

Hoping to establish a new consumer-friendly brand for interactive TV, Canoe Ventures has published implementation guidelines for programmers, operators and advertisers on using the cable industry's "ExpandTV" moniker.

Canoe, along with other players, announced this summer that ExpandTV would replace its original choice -- SelecTV -- as the brand that will signal to viewers that interactive elements are available in the program or ad they're watching.

Version 1.0 of the ExpandTV brand and user-interface guidelines are available at

The documents outline appropriate usage of the ExpandTV logo on TV and in print. On television, the guidelines recommend that the ExpandTV icon appear either in an on-screen display or integrated into the application interface.

Among other things, the Expand TV guidelines specify that the logo should never be less than 25% of the height of a partner's logo and sets out color and font usage parameters.

The guidelines also make clear that "ExpandTV is not EBIF" or any other technology -- a reference to CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format spec: "EBIF is a technology platform that supports ExpandTV-branded applications."

"The new interactive experiences offered by cable give viewers the opportunity to more deeply engage with programming and commercial messages alike," Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, said in a statement. "It's important that subscribers be aware of and understand these capabilities, and the ExpandTV brand will aid greatly in consumer education."

Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, weighed in with support for ExpandTV.

"Interactive television represents a ‘next generation' opportunity for brand advertisers to deepen relationships with consumers," Liodice commented. "We applaud the industry's move to accelerate viewer awareness of and comfort with interactivity. We believe the industry is taking an important step in that direction with the introduction of Expand TV."

The brand initiative has been led by Canoe, in collaboration with the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB), the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and CableLabs, the six MSOs that own Canoe -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks -- as well as national advertising and cable television programming partners.

The ExpandTV brand is managed and licensed by Canoe, which filed for trademark protection on the name in 2009.

"In another of the cable industry's milestone collaborative achievements, we now have a program that the entire industry can rally around to promote the adoption of ITV," Canoe chief marketing officer Vicki Lins said.

She added, "With several operators ramping their local ITV ad sales and that national platform enabled by Canoe also scaling, now is the perfect time to prime the marketplace with a consumer brand and education program."