Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nothing AdVentured, Nothing Engaged

I wanted to waste 30 minutes on Wednesday night so I flipped the TV to GSN to play ''Lingo.'' What a disappointment. I couldn't use my remote to play along.


Really. It's true. When I was in Kauai earlier this month I used my remote to play ''Lingo'' and ''Match Game'' one rainy morning before I ventured out for a beautiful beach afternoon.

Oceanic Time Warner is leading the revolution for TV viewer interaction in the United States. Hawaiians have played GSN games with their remotes since April 19, 2004, leaving us Mainlanders behind once again.

Just think about the possibilities when you become an active, real-time participant. You're engaged with what's on TV. You're not just a guilty bystander.

Forget about voting by phone. Internet voting will be a thing of the past. You'll be able to use your remote to vote at the end of ''American Idol'' during a commercial break and results will be announced 30 minutes later.

Advertisers will definitely exploit this ability to engage viewers. Now you know the new buzzword in TV advertising, according to a recent study by Yahoo!, OMD and Teenage Research Unlimited. Here's an excerpt:
The key to targeting these busy consumers in the midst of media proliferation is advertising that "engages" the viewer with interactive or highly personalized elements. This, of course, also calls for an adjusted metric for copy testing, which must now track different types of user response. "In the 50's and 60's, copy testing was mainly about recall--and then in the 70's and 80's, they were talking about persuasion, and in the 90's it was about liking--getting the consumer to like the advertisement," said Mike Hess, Director of Global Research and Communication Insights, OMD. "Now it's got to be about engagement."

Over the next year we should watch how internet ads try to engage us. Forward-loooking ad agencies will use the web to learn lessons on the cheap and then create engaging TV commercials for the networks.

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