Carat, Gotuit Join To Mine Comparable VOD, Web Data

Oct 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Media agency Carat has locked in clients Norelco, Remax and Chase to participate in a pioneering market trial gauging consumer interaction with ads across video-on-demand and broadband.

The effort marks one of the first instances in which advertisers can compare apples to apples to determine the effectiveness of their ads in both of the new viewing venues.

Carat’s clients will work with VOD and broadband portal Gotuit to participate in a three-month market trial. Gotuit aggregates content for both VOD, in four TV markets reaching 600,000 homes, and online, via its Web site Gotuit.com, which is available to anyone with Internet access. The project is scheduled to start in November.

During the trial, Gotuit will provide detailed data on how long consumers interacted with ads, what programs they watched and whether consumers “clicked through” an ad to get more information. The participants can compare consumer interest in their ads across both VOD and broadband for the first time.

“It gives us the chance to refine the type of content we should be sponsoring,” said Manning Field, senior VP of branding and advertising for Chase Card Services.

With traditional TV viewing under siege, advertisers have turned to new media to deliver their messages. The Carat/Gotuit partnership follows a series of recent interactive and VOD ad trials in which advertisers have kicked the tires on new ad technologies.

Last month Paramount Pictures used a dynamic ad insertion system from SeaChange and Atlas to serve up fresh ads for the movie “Jackass Number Two” on Comedy Central VOD content. And Carat advertiser Hyundai has tested a series of interactive features on its ads, powered by technology firm Navic Networks, in a handful of cable systems.

The Gotuit/Carat partnership is believed to be the first that will allow advertisers to compare broadband and VOD side by side.

That sort of comparison can help advertisers be more strategic with their advertising decisions about both media, said Mitch Oscar, executive VP of Carat Digital, who brought his clients together with Gotuit executives during a meeting last month at the Carat offices in New York.

In the market trial, advertisers might learn, for example, that VOD consumers spend more time with news content than broadband consumers do and could modify their news buys accordingly, he said. “I have never had anyone show me the 52 deck of cards before,” he said.

A Full Deck of Cards

That deck of cards will include data on the reach and effectiveness of long form, short form and banner ads. Carat has brought audience measurement firm TNS Media Research on board to slice and dice the data from Gotuit to report on time of day, duration, number of views, what viewers watched before and after ads, length of stay and other consumer behavior.

Those figures are necessary for advertisers to determine the ROI for each medium and where it makes the most sense to invest, said Mark Pascarella, CEO of Gotuit.

By getting those answers, Chase and other advertisers can better pinpoint which programs are most effective to advertise in across the various media, rather than assuming all new media works the same.

“Do people consume [on-demand] differently via the cable platform versus the Internet?” Mr. Field said.

This side-by-side look is possible because Gotuit offers virtually the same content online and on VOD. That includes news, sports, weather and music from content partners including Universal Music Group, Reuters, AccuWeather and the Associated Press. Gotuit also runs movie trailers from most major studios.

Gotuit is available on VOD for free in four Comcast and Time Warner television markets stretching across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts and reaching about 600,000 homes.

Across those homes, Gotuit averages more than 45,000 individual VOD sessions each day.

“We can provide an overview of how people are spending their time between linear VOD and broadband,” said George Shababb, chief operating officer of TNS Media Research.