News

RIP Canoe. Long Live ITV!

3/05/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

While Canoe as we know it may be dead
(“The Death Knell for ITV Ads?,” Feb. 27) — the
heart of interactive television (ITV) remains fully alive
and well with more exciting opportunities to reach and
truly engage consumers than we even know what to do
with.

To its credit, Canoe was spending 100%
of its time and energy on educating the
industry on ITV and advanced advertising,
yet from my eyes it achieved less
than the lift needed. Not its fault. At direct
odds with the television-buying model of
more for less, Canoe’s approach was to offer
more for more. Media buyers and planners
kept waiting for scale rather than
becoming involved with what Canoe was
attempting to offer.

However, to paraphrase Mark Twain,
reports of ITV’s death have been greatly
exaggerated. And there is live data to
prove it. We regularly tell clients that ITV
campaigns initiated on their behalf have
average engagement rates of 12% to 35%.
Ad recall rates are in the high doubledigits,
far out-pacing recall rates for a traditional media
buy.

ITV boils down to the art of making media “active,”
rather than passive. Yes, there are certain small premiums
that can come with media that allow consumers
to be a part of it, and many of the premiums are quite
worthwhile as you get to see the data and use the fi ndings
for planning and optimization. For example, one
recent campaign running on a large MSO footprint generated
9.5 million household impressions and resulted
in a total of 315,283 video views.

Marketers and their agencies need to decide: Do they
want to generate a few short-term revenue gains at this
stage in the game, or learnings that will be exponentially
worthwhile in the long-term? Unfortunately,
the old, traditional agency model
does not care about learnings. To alliterate
for a moment: Folks afraid of being fired
foiled Canoe. Everyone is so worried about
losing their jobs that the status quo is the
name of the game — no wonder the industry
is barely a 2% business!

In my view, efficiencies should not override
the depth of what can be learned. In
fact, I’ve never promoted someone solely for
being efficient. The traditional large agency
business continues to be broken and
thus focuses on a set of metrics from the
1960s rather than the metrics of interactive
television and other platforms gaining
eyeballs and momentum.

The Canoe many of us pulled for is no
longer. But ITV is actually very alive and quite well; and
when taken advantage of, it can be a motorboat to grab
onto as the industry races into the future.


Craig Woerz is co-founder and co-managing partner
of media and marketing agency Media Storm, with
offices in New York, Los Angeles and South Norwalk,
Conn.
October
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