Interactive TV has arrived... and it's working.


In all the talk about devices that consumers have in hand while watching TV, we often forget the most common one: The Remote Control. Yep, the trusty, old remote.  Luckily for DRTV marketers, Interactive TV is rapidly enhancing the power of this overlooked device.

Today over 85 million homes are equipped with some form of interactive TV. Dish, DirecTV, Comcast, TiVo, AT&T and others have all grown out a robust footprint of interactive TV homes.  The technology enables consumers to respond to an offer, request a phone call, click to watch more content and even play games with their remote.  And advertisers can take advantage of it all to drive incremental leads, sales and brand interaction.

At Eicoff, we recently tested these capabilities in a big way. Through the AT&T U-Verse system, we created a stand-alone TV channel for K12 Online Education. Simultaneously, while AT&T U-Verse subscribers were watching their favorite shows, we would air one of our K12 commercials. During that 30 or 60 second advertisement, a pop-up would appear and say, “If you’re interested in learning more about home-schooling curriculum, click OK for more information.” Once the viewer clicked OK, they were telescoped to our unique channel. 

This channel then allowed viewers to really dig into what K12 offered. They could click on one option for detailed information about the products available, much like you would on a website. They could click on another and watch a longer ad or even a 30-minute infomercial.  They could also request an information packet to be mailed to their home. Our prospective customers were not only guided to a place filled with useful information, but upon arrival they had control. They were transformed from passive viewers into active consumers, which is a huge step in any sales process. It all came together with the right messaging and configuration of content.

After six weeks on air, we were happy to see that this test was an overwhelming success. The cost per lead was about 50% LESS than the client’s overall DRTV campaign results. And there were close to 15,000 requests for information on a cable platform reaching only 6 Million Households.  We were excited to discover another avenue to help our clients reach their goals.

Overall the growth of Interactive TV has been slower than many predicted. Today, however, the industry appears to be finally coming into its own.  In addition to a large growth in scale, the technology of each platform continues to improve. The interaction is more streamlined, the options to engage with the consumer and drive response are all enhanced and more features are being added each quarter.  As the technology expands we are actively testing which features drive the greatest ROI for our clients. 

The great news is that all Interactive TV is highly measurable. You know how many people saw your Interactive Ad Unit, how long they engaged and how many responded, all on a very granular level. Interactive TV is proving to be a very strong tool to drive results. Immediate, measurable results. And just like the old remote control, that will never go out of style. 

For more information about Interactive TV and emerging media, contact Matt Cote at Matt.Cote@eicoff or 312.527.7129