Canoe Ventures, the advanced television JV of the nation’s top cable companies, and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released findings from its year-long study of interactive television (ITV) effectiveness. The ongoing effort, dubbed “CEE MEE,” aims to understand how the Connection, Emotion and Experience (CEE) of advanced television solutions, including ITV, relate to the Measurement, Efficiency and Engagement (MEE) advertisers seek.
Initial conclusions from CEE MEE research featured promising results for ITV effectiveness in viewer interest, unaided brand recall, likelihood to seek additional information and likelihood to purchase.
Canoe is currently enabling national interactivity to more than 25 million cable homes on select networks. ITV-enabled networks include AMC, Bravo, Discovery, E!, History, G4, Style, and USA Network. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications and BrightHouse Networks formed the company in 2008 to use set-top boxes to deliver new kinds interactive marketing opportunities.
Fidelity, GlaxoSmithKline, Honda, Kimberly-Clark and State Farm were the first ANA members to join the CEE MEE collaboration which collects insights from a proprietary online panel of more than 4,200 TV enthusiasts whose reactions to various advanced television experiences are studied. Additionally, panel members share opinions on overall media consumption and use of technology in surveys, discussion boards, blogs and live chats. Quantitative and qualitative studies provided insights on TV viewing habits; attitudes toward advertising; the effects of advanced television advertising; viewpoints on consumers privacy; and in particular consumer response to in-ad and in-program interactivity.
Consumer engagement with RFI (Request for Information), interactive offers presented as an overlay to advertising, was one of the items that the studies focused on in year-one; the effectiveness of RFI is promising. In aggregated results for Honda, Fidelity, GlaxoSmithKline, Kimberly-Clark and State Farm, on average, 19% of adults 18-49 years said “yes” to interactive offers. Additionally, regardless of offer acceptance key brand metrics were significantly higher:
•+86% unaided brand recall
•+26% likelihood to seek additional information
•+36% likelihood to purchase
In studies where the interactivity was within a program, brand-sponsored Polling and Trivia had positive lift on unaided brand recall (+101%). Also, in programs where interactive elements were offered, the likelihood of viewers to want to watch a future episode of a TV series with an interactive element increased (+50%).
“Kimberly-Clark jumped at the chance to participate in the project,” said Jeffrey Holecko, the company’s North American media manager. “Testing new opportunities is part of our culture. It allows us to be well informed on new developments and continuously improve in order to provide our clients with the strongest plans and the most relevant channels.”
“So far, the trial results have been outstanding,” said Jim DeLash, director of consumer multichannel strategy, enterprise channels marketing, at GlaxoSmithKline. “It’s research, and it’s measuring changes in brand awareness a short time after viewing the ITV spot, but the direction is very positive.”
DeLash believes that ITV will be an important part of the company’s future efforts and is planning to execute in-market ITV campaigns in 2012.
For Honda, the results from CEE MEE were similarly catalyzing for their future marketing efforts on television. “Going forward, ITV is certainly going to play a significant role in the future of brand marketing,” said Tom Peyton, senior manager, Honda brand, at American Honda Motor Co. “We are beginning to see the emergence of a lot of digital metrics, and we’re getting a glimpse of what can be done to make TV more interactive from a marketing perspective, with the metrics to support those efforts.”
Through their CEE MEE studies, State Farm has closely considered the value of participating within in-program interactive experiences such as polls and trivia. “With the explosion of new technologies touching so many aspects of consumer behavior, it’s imperative that we, as marketers, understand both new platforms and new opportunities on existing channels,” said Ed Gold, advertising director at State Farm. “One of the most attractive aspects of ITV is the opportunity it presents to get State Farm more deeply involved within the programs in which the brand is already involved by virtue of its advertising. Our hope is that as someone becomes more engaged in our brand, they will feel better about State Farm, want to learn more about us, and, ultimately, choose and buy our products. It’s a promising technology to move prospects further down the purchase funnel.”
“We were very encouraged by the strong brand lifts measured for Fidelity Investments in our tests through CEE MEE,” said Jim Speros, EVP/CMO. “Today’s consumers simply expect to be able to interact at every turn, regardless of platform or device, and the findings strongly suggest that the reward for brands engaging interactively is the consumer’s attention and mind share.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Bringing marketers and advertisers into the testing and research process is probably the quickest way to help standardize iTV and RFI efforts. Perhaps Canoe’s technology should be the one for the industry to standardize upon. Right now there are still other companies offering iTV solutions–Backchannel Media and NY Interconnect, for example. Some are doing it in-house, like Cablevision’s Optimum Select. But to get the most participation, there needs to be a standard to make it easier to place iTV campaigns and measure the results effectively across an entire buy over national cable networks.