Canoe Goes To School

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Canoe Ventures, the advanced-advertising venture of the largest U.S. cable operators, has struck a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University's advertising graduate school to encourage students to develop new forms of interactive TV ads.

In addition, Canoe has established a $10,000 scholarship fund for
VCU students. The VCU Brandcenter, which was started in 1996, is a
graduate advertising and branding program in the Richmond, Va.-based
university's School of Mass Communications.

Under the partnership with the VCU Brandcenter, interactive TV advertising will become a bigger part of the school's curriculum and will culminate in a project next year that will "challenge students to explore innovative applications of cable's newest advanced ad technologies," Canoe said.

"As a founding board member of the VCU Brandcenter, I've seen it grow to become one of the most influential graduate schools in the industry," Canoe CEO David Verklin said in a statement. "The Brandcenter's multi-disciplined approach -- integrating creativity, technology, strategy and brand management - reflects the convergence of factors that is shaping our world. Our scholarship commemorates Canoe's commitment to fostering the next generation of not only the technologies, but also the talent, that will shape the future of advertising. We are leading the industry to evolve with the medium."

VCU Brandcenter director Rick Boyko commented, "Canoe Ventures is working with the industry to advance the medium in ways that should be interesting to all advertisers. We are pleased to be able to tap into their knowledge and we're grateful to the commitment they're making to tomorrow's advertising leadership through their scholarship. This announcement comes at an opportune time as we celebrate another Advertising Week in New York City and the beginning of another school year."

New York-based Canoe, officially formed in 2008, is owned by six cable operators: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks.

Canoe -- after scuttling its initial plans this summer to deliver a basic addressable-advertising service using existing cable ad zones -- plans to launch an interactive TV service geared around request for information (RFI) spots in the fourth quarter. 

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