MPG, Navic Test Interactive Ads

Sep 28, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Media agency MPG recently completed a targeted advertising trial in Hawaii that, if successful, could represent a meaningful step toward delivering more accountable ads on TV in which response rates can be measured.
MPG is still sifting through the results from the campaign for Chase banks, but the agency plans to conduct more experiments that combine targeted ads with interactive TV, said Mitch Oscar, executive VP of televisual applications at MPG. He presented the findings of the Chase project earlier this month at a New York meeting of the Collaborative Alliance, an industry think-tank Mr. Oscar started four years ago.
The trial ran from February to March in Time Warner’s Hawaii system and looped in “database marketing” on potential customer attributes from Acxiom, which helps marketers mine data about customers to run more effective campaigns. Navic was the interactive television technology provider. During the trial, consumers could click a remote control to request more information from certain ads.
Those interactive components made the ads and the effectiveness more measurable than typical TV ads.
If more advertisers, agencies and cable systems roll out such technology, then TV as a medium could be better positioned against its more accountable competitor, the Internet. “You’re mirroring what people claim they can do online, which is bring more accountability and measurability to TV and addressability and targeting,” Mr. Oscar said.
The four-week campaign delivered different creative to different households and had the potential to reach 180,000 digital cable customers in the Hawaii system. It generated 909 responses, Mr. Oscar said.
Drawing a conclusion about effectiveness is complicated because it’s hard to know how many customers in the system saw an ad. But the promise lies in the measurability, he said.
“You could apply this technology to Project Canoe, and that is the model for everyone for the future,” Mr. Oscar said, referring to the cable industry project to develop more addressable and targeted ads across cable systems. “We will use this to develop other campaigns for other MPG clients.”
He presented the information at the Collaborative Alliance meeting because he said he’d like to see other agencies have access to the data as a benchmark for their initiatives.
“People responded to the interactive TV campaign in much the same way they’d respond to other direct-response campaigns like direct mail,” said Josh Herman, digital marketing innovation leader at Acxiom. “The idea is to make room for database marketing in television, and this begins to provide for the reality of integrated marketing in TV.”
In general, consumers seem interested in interacting with ads, according to research from Marquest Media & Entertainment Research. A recent study found one in three consumers had at least some interest in using the remote control to access more information on a product or service.
“These numbers seem to be big enough to spawn a huge business opportunity for marketers who get it right,” said Marquest’s Paul Rule. “Project Canoe may find itself mainstream.”
Other presenters at the Collaborative Alliance included Quantcast, MediaBank, eMarketer, NDS, For Your Imagination and French Maid TV.
Chase declined comment.


  1. Chase did this test in HI through MPG last year. Erik Neubart is planning director on Chase and LArry Hunt is national buying director on Chase.

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