Marketing

Canoe Pushes Interactive-TV Brand

10/24/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Hey! Your TV is clickable!

That’s the message Canoe Ventures hopes to
hammer home with its efforts to establish the cable
industry’s “ExpandTV” moniker as a recognizable,
consumer-friendly brand for interactive TV.

Canoe, along with other players, announced this summer
that ExpandTV would replace its original choice — SelecTV
— as the brand that will signal to viewers that interactive elements
are available in the program or ad they’re watching. The
venture recently published implementation guidelines for programmers,
operators and advertisers on using the new logo.

SUPPORT FROM NCTA

“The new, interactive experiences offered by cable give viewers
the opportunity to more deeply engage with programming
and commercial messages alike,” Michael Powell, CEO of the
National Cable & Telecommunications Association, said in a
statement. “It’s important that subscribers be aware of and understand
these capabilities, and the ExpandTV brand will aid
greatly in consumer education.”

So far, interactive-TV advertising has had mixed success.

Canoe touts a footprint of more than 22 million digital cable
households. But it had served only 35.3 million interactive
overlays through September, according to the company — and
not all of those were even ads.

Others have better ITV results to talk about: Comcast Spotlight
has tallied more than 2.7 billion interactive-TV ad impressions
across about 15 million homes, representing more
than 1,000 campaigns to date. TiVo, currently with less than 2
million subscribers, has served 1.9 billion ads in the first nine
months of 2011, after offering up 2.4 billion last year.

Now, Canoe and the rest of the cable industry want to make
interactive TV mainstream with ExpandTV.

Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers,
weighed in with support for ExpandTV.

“Interactive television represents a ‘next-generation’ opportunity
for brand advertisers to deepen relationships
with consumers,” Liodice said.
“We applaud the industry’s move to accelerate
viewer awareness of and comfort with
interactivity. We believe the industry is taking
an important step in that direction with
the introduction of ExpandTV.”

Canoe’s guidelines outline appropriate usage of the Expand-
TV logo on TV and in print. On television, they recommend
that the ExpandTV icon appear either in an on-screen display
or integrated into the application interface.

Among other things, the ExpandTV guidelines specify that
the logo should never be less than 25% of the height of a partner’s
logo and sets out color and font usage parameters.

IT ISN’T EBIF

The guidelines also make clear that “ExpandTV is not EBIF” or
any other technology — a reference to CableLabs’ Enhanced
TV Binary Interchange Format spec: “EBIF is a technology
platform that supports ExpandTV-branded applications.”

The brand initiative has been led by Canoe, in collaboration
with the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, the Cable & Telecommunications
Association for Marketing, CableLabs and
the six MSOs that own Canoe — Comcast, Time Warner Cable,
Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision
Systems and Bright House Networks — as well as national advertising
and cable-television programming partners.

The ExpandTV brand is managed and licensed by Canoe,
which filed for trademark protection on the name in 2009.