Thursday, January 24, 2008

Next Step Television

A new survey from Backchannelmedia suggests that TV viewers are ready and willing to try interactive ads on TV. The study, with 2,288 respondents, found that 60 percent of respondents will click on interactive ads to send coupons to their email account or home page. Interactivity, push content and instant gratification are clearly key drivers, as 60 percent of respondents said they "never" or "rarely" visit web sites they see advertised on TV.

Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said the would be "very or extremely" likely to use a one click interactive technology via their TV remote. If projectable, that finding suggests a market of 43 million consumers ready to embrace interactive ads. Yet that optimistic projection doesn't seem to square with the finding that respondents never or rarely visit sites they see advertised. It's widely reported that many people are simultaneously surfing the net while watching television--Backchannel's study puts the percentage at 63%, while BIGresearch's Simultaneous Media Survey puts the number at half to 2/3 that, though the questions were not asked in the same way. If that's true why aren't those surfers making the interactive connection themselves? Why would they be more likely to take their hands off the keyboard and pick up the remote in order to interact with the ad?

Perhaps the lure of the coupon download is the real driver in Backchannelmedia's findings.Or perhaps marketers are doing a poor job making the connection between ads and landing pages on their sites that relate specifically to the ad content. Television viewers with keyboard in hand may not be willing to go to a home page and dig through a site to get to the content/offer they see advertised on TV--having the offer delivered to them is far more efficient. That is still a legitimate (and large) opportunity for advertisers willing to take a risk with early adopter interactive ad users.