Xerox Web Effort to Measure VOD Viewing

Apr 25, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Xerox has found a way to bypass the measurement challenges plaguing video-on-demand by linking a VOD campaign with an online campaign that will allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their on-demand ads.

The campaign kicked off last week on CNN’s on-demand platform with a 13-second spot for Xerox that is running concurrently on CNN’s broadband platform, said Michael Bologna, director of emerging media communications at Mediaedge:cia, Xerox’s agency. The spot drives viewers to a Web site where they can register to win a 19-inch Xerox flat-screen monitor.

“When you register for the monitor you have to let us know whether you came from on-demand or broadband,” Mr. Bologna said. That means Xerox will be able to measure the response rate between the online ad and the VOD ad.

What’s clever about the new ad campaign is that it allows Xerox, CNN and Mediaedge to measure VOD ads in a roundabout way. Right now, measurement data available for VOD programming is broad, such as total views per program, unique set-top boxes watching and average duration watched. But data isn’t available yet on whether the ads in the VOD programs are actually being watched or skipped. By driving consumers to a Web site to register to win a monitor, Xerox has found a backdoor method to measure how many viewers were motivated by the call to action at the end of its VOD spot. That data can then be compared with the total views for the programs, allowing Xerox to determine what percentage of viewers who saw the VOD spot went on to register.

What’s also noteworthy about the Xerox initiative is that the spot was created specifically for the twin new media platforms of broadband and VOD. Most VOD ads today are carbon copies of existing TV spots. “The whole idea was to give our VOD initiative another set of legs and integrate into an overall media mix,” Mr. Bologna said. “This is integrated media.” The sweepstakes will run on CNN on Demand through June.

Turner produced the spot for Xerox, said Chris Pizzurro, VP of multimedia marketing for Turner. Content companies need to make it easy and simple for advertisers and their agencies to continue testing VOD ads, he said. That’s especially important given the climate of uncertainty that surrounds VOD advertising and its long-term viability.

“My goal is to make it as easy as possible for agencies,” he said. “We need to be flexible and make an easy turnkey opportunity. … I think this idea speaks to what digital media can take from traditional media like a sweepstakes and apply it.”

Mr. Bologna said Xerox will also run a similar sweepstakes on the VOD services for A&E and Discovery, but those campaigns will not be coupled with broadband video ads. They will drive users to a consumer Web site to register to win, also allowing the networks and the advertiser to track viewer response to the ad. A&E’s sweepstakes started last week and Discovery’s will start in June.