There are signs that consumers will be willing to interact with advertising on connected TVs, with click rates exceeding 25% during a U.S. field trial managed by Rovi Corporation. Major brands have now started experimenting with the concept in Germany, where Mini and Lego are the first to take advantage of the Rovi Smart TV field trial, which covers 500 homes using Samsung Smart TVs, and which started in December and runs for six months.
Mini is harnessing clickable banners within the â€˜Your Videoâ€™ section of the Samsung Smart Hub, with consumers linking to a TV microsite on the Internet where the content has been optimised for use with a remote control. Viewers have the chance to find out more about the various car models and, with the new Mini Roadster only recently launched, there is plenty to interest viewers. One of the choices currently offered to viewers is to request to receive a brochure or get details about local dealers.
The German field trial is now running simultaneously with a 500 home Smart TV advertising trial in the UK. Both are using Samsung televisions and are conducted in partnership with the media consultancy Decipher, who created the trial sample in both cases. In the six month UK trial, which ends in the spring, advertisers include BT, Twentieth Century Fox, Channel 4, Honda and Red Bull. Other advertisers are expected to join the German trial, while there is a possibility that more connected TV manufacturers will also become involved.
Rovi Corporation provides programme guide information for the Samsung Smart TVs and, through the Rovi Advertising Network, makes it possible to serve advertising into the programme guide. EPG advertising is attracting a lot of attention today.
One of the challenges for advertisers looking to exploit interactive Connected TV advertising is the proliferation of platforms, with only the Philips/Loewe/Sharp grouping providing a common solution for developing applications upon. According to Jon Hewson, Advertising Business Director, EMEA at Rovi Corporation, his company will help advertisers build interactive ad campaigns for different Connected TV platforms to help kick-start this market. â€œWe will tackle the cost of putting those campaigns into different televisions for now, though we would like to get paid for that eventually,â€ he says.
Hewson contends that Connected TV represents the biggest change in the TV market since the launch of cable TV and DTH satellite and the new platforms will enable exciting opportunities for advertisers. â€œThe definition of TV is changing; it is turning from one of the dumbest devices in the house to one of the most intelligent. People can consume content from their traditional service provider and OTT, with the latter mainly via apps. We think the TV is going to become similar to a big Apple iPad with a screen that can launch content by clicking on apps.â€
He believes the Mini campaign in Germany highlights the potential to go further with interactive advertising. â€œWe could see Mini TV, so that the brand almost becomes a content owner,â€ he suggests. And while Mini is not using it yet, there is the option to â€˜click to callâ€™ on the connected TVs, so that viewers could be routed direct to a call centre to find out more about a product.
â€œDown the line there is the possibility for T-commerce,â€ Hewson adds. â€œYour credit card details are built into your profile and there is an opportunity to purchase straight from the TV.â€ Integration with Facebook would make it possible for users to post messages onto their Facebook wall to the effect that â€˜John likes the new Mini Roadsterâ€™, as well. â€œThat is quite powerful and provides a way to extend the brand off the TV,â€ Hewson adds.
Rovi provides three places where consumers can engage with brands today, the first being in the â€˜traditionalâ€™ TV listings, and the second is within video search and recommendation (which in the case of the Samsung Smart TVs harnesses Rovi metadata to feed the algorithm that makes recommendations based on viewing habits or content genre. â€œWe are also talking to Samsung about being able to serve the advertising direct into the UI in the product information area and we hope to be able to offer that to advertisers at some stage,â€ Hewson reveals.
Last week, Rovi and Samsung announced that they were expanding their cooperation, including new Request For Information (RFI) capabilities that support click to call, email and quick response (QR) codes within advertisements, social networking options, as well as additional TV commerce capabilities. â€œThe launch of our Samsung AdHub, supported by Roviâ€™s strong relationships with agencies and brands, will create new opportunities for marketers to broaden their reach and take advertising to a new level of consumer engagement,â€ said Daniel Park, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, Media Solution Center.
Rovi has now tested interactive Smart TV advertising in four markets including Canada and the U.S. In the U.S., 80% of respondents in the study said they noticed the presence of ads on the Connected TV platform, and approximately one-third of those who noticed an advertisement also clicked on it, meaning that overall, one-quarter of people are interacting.