Home Analysis Advertising HbbTV-based interactive ads boost viewer engagement, says Teravolt

HbbTV-based interactive ads boost viewer engagement, says Teravolt

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By Barry Flynn, Contributing Editor

At the Future TV Advertising Forum in London, Teravolt – a German media production company and consultancy – demonstrated how the HbbTV standard was making it possible to increase viewer engagement via interactive advertising on Germany’s free-to-air channels.

Key to the success of the platform was its growing scale, said Teravolt’s Managing Partner, Oliver Koch, who presented detailed figures showing how HbbTV adoption was taking off in Germany.

These show that there are now 13.5m connected HbbTV devices in German homes, equivalent to around a third of TV households, capable of reaching 32.3m users via the red button on their remote controls. Although the proportion of active HbbTV users is small (2.7m), the survey suggests that by 2025, this category will reach 28m, around 40% of reachable users (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: HbbTV status and forecast in Germany (m)

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

…2025

Connected HbbTV devices

0.3

1

5.9

10.2

13.5

16.8

21

25.1

46.5

Active HbbTV users

0.03

0.1

0.4

1

1.8

2.7

4.2

6.3

28

Reachable red-button users*

0.7

2.6

15.3

26.2

32.3

37.9

44.3

51.4

66.5

* in millions per month – on average there are 2.6 individuals per German household (P7S1 survey)

Meanwhile, all but a tiny minority of German broadcasters now offered HbbTV services, Koch noted – including the top 12 broadcasters by audience share, who between them account for the vast majority of German TV viewing.

In principle, segmentation of the audience for the purpose of delivering addressable ads could now take place via HbbTV in one of four ways, Koch said: geographic, demographic, behavioural and ‘self-selected individual household’ levels.

However, Koch recognized that “most of the broadcasters, they won’t have data regarding those sectors. They need to collaborate with partners or start gaining their own data.” German law was also strict about the use of personal data, he noted. While “we haven’t seen any addressable advertising campaign using demographics yet,” there had been instances of geographical segmentation, he said, demonstrating an Opel example where the viewer could click on a screen showing a particular model to find out where the closest dealership was.

A popular emerging interactive advertising use-case in Germany was what Koch called the ‘SwitchIn’ format. When an HbbTV-equipped user switches from one channel to another, a pop-up – which Koch described as “a sort of branded red button” – appears, which if clicked on can take the viewer temporarily outside the broadcast stream, for example to a separate video clip, or to a QR code which can connect the user’s mobile device to an advertiser’s micro-site.

One particular interactive ad campaign for Burger King shown on the Pro Sieben Sat 1 channel demonstrated the potential for viewer engagement, Koch said. In this case, clicking on the red button during a Burger King ad spot took the viewer to a micro-site where they could create their own ‘Whopper’ and receive a coupon for it.

2.5 per cent of those exposed to the ad pressed the red button, and then just over 1 per cent clicked through, said Koch. This generated 40,000 hits on the micro-site offering the ‘Whopper’ creation and coupon features, with visitors staying for an average 1 minute and 50 seconds each. Meanwhile, of those who landed on the micro-site, 75% chose to create their own ‘Whopper’ – all of which demonstrated “very high” levels of viewer engagement, Koch said.

It emerged during Koch’s presentation that the HbbTV standard does not yet possess the ability to carry out addressable advertising by substituting one video ad for another in a commercial break – the technique used by BSkyB’s Sky AdSmart platform – because the technology does not provide for a frame-accurate ‘splice’. However, it is understood that this facility is being discussed for possible inclusion within a future version of the HbbTV 2.0 standard.


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