ITV Ads Boost Awareness Even If They Aren't Clicked: Canoe Study

Canoe Ventures, looking to prove to Madison Avenue that interactive TV ads are worth paying for, is releasing results of a series of studies showing that ads with request-for-information overlays boost consumer awareness and purchase intent -- even if viewers don't actually click on them.

Canoe, which is owned by the six largest U.S. cable companies, worked with several marketers to study the effect of ITV on their campaigns.

The studies, conducted by E-Poll Market Research, gauged the efficacy of interactive offers presented as an overlay to TV advertising in driving a variety of key branding metrics. Each study involved two groups of viewers -- one watching commercials enhanced with RFI (test group) and another watching the same commercial without the RFI overlay (control group).

The results, outlined in a Canoe white paper, "Understanding the Brand Efficacy of RFI," showed that RFIs increase unaided ad awareness 26% and unaided brand awareness 23% compared with the non-RFI control group.

Moreover, 28% more viewers who saw interactive TV spots said the ad made them want to buy the brand (purchase intent) and 19% more said they were likely to look for the brand at the point of sale. RFI overlays increased aided brand awareness 2% and aided ad awareness 9% versus viewers in the control group.

"These findings highlight the efficacy of RFI as a branding tool and provide incremental learning on the impact of advanced television advertising," Canoe CEO Kathy Timko said.

According to Canoe, RFI click-through rates vary but the company said its highest-performing campaigns have final interaction rates of nearly 1% -- in the same ballpark as Web advertising.

Canoe did not identify which advertisers it worked with on the studies, nor would the company disclose how many participated. The analysis compared reactions to the same ads between viewers in households with EBIF-enabled set-tops and cable households without interactive capabilities.

Canoe provides an RFI advertising product that reaches more than 25 million cable households sold by six national networks: AMC, Bravo, Discovery Channel, E!, History Channel and Style. The company will soon add USA Network to the RFI mix.

The "Understanding the Brand Efficacy of RFI" whitepaper is available to download from Canoe's Facebook page.

In a separate study by Canoe and the Association of National Advertisers released in October, 18% of "TV enthusiasts" age 18-49 opted to receive additional info after viewing an ITV spot. Five large advertisers -- Fidelity, GlaxoSmithKline, Honda, Kimberly-Clark and State Farm -- were the first ANA members to participate in the study. The "CEE MEE" research by Canoe and the ANA is designed to capture the "Connection, Emotion and Experience" (CEE) of interactive television viewers and correlate that with "Measurement, Efficiency and Engagement" (MEE) metrics.

This summer, the cable industry -- led by Canoe -- published user and implementation guidelines for the ExpandTV consumer-facing brand.

New York-based Canoe was formed in 2008 by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks.