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Getting TV Ads to Click With Consumers

Consumers view a TV commercial and then simply press a button to buy a product—this has been one of the oldest and most widely touted features of interactive TV advertising.

Until recently, however, the idea got little traction among U.S. cable companies, both because of the limited deployments of interactive ad platforms needed to make commerce work, and because of the complexity of setting up systems to process and fulfill orders.

Cablevision, which rolled out interactive ad capabilities across its New York metropolitan footprint several years ago, has spent the last year working through the lengthy process of setting up a commerce platform. The operator this month launched its first major campaign, working with Delivery Agent and its client FMI, the exclusive operators of the NFL store at the NFL Experience and Lucas Oil Stadium during Super Bowl XLVI. Digital subscribers could go to the MSO’s Market Showcase channel, browse through merchandise and then select products with their TV remotes.

“I was lucky to be at the game,” notes Cablevision Media Sales president/ COO David Kline. “But it allowed our subscribers to buy the same merchandise that was at the game at home.”

The campaign required a customer service representative to call users to complete an order. But Kline expects Cablevision to simplify the sales process so users can conduct the entire purchase with their remotes.

While Cablevision is looking to get a portion of the sales, Kline sees that as a “smaller component” with the biggest play coming from the fact that it can make regular 30-second spots more valuable to advertisers.

“As a cable operator, we will make money selling 30-second spots and making them interactive,” Kline says.

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