Rovi: Big Clicks for Connected-TV Ads

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Are interactive ads on Internet-connected
TVs a novelty that will eventually
wear off ?

In the first three months of its connected-TV ad
trial in the U.S., Rovi found that on average, viewers
clicked on ads that appeared in the guide 13%
of the time — more than 10 times as often as they
clicked on typical Web banner ads.

Initial advertisers in the trial, which kicked off
in April, included cruise-line operator Carnival
and Unilever’s Hellmann’s mayonnaise. The ads
were displayed on Internet-connected televisions
and Blu-ray Disc players from Samsung Electronics
and Sony.

“We really feel we’re starting a new advertising vehicle,”
Rovi senior vice president of worldwide advertising
Jeff Siegel said.

By the end of 2011, Rovi expects about 4.5 million
to 5 million connected units to be part of its ad network,
and more if the company signs up additional
consumer-electronics partners for the advertising
network, Siegel said.

The click-through rates are based on tracking reports
from 24/7 Real Media. Siegel said those ranged
from 10% to 17%, depending on the ad.

But at this point, it’s not clear exactly how effective
the ad units are, compared with traditional TV
spots. Rovi has enlisted Nielsen to conduct two research
studies. The first will measure user perceptions
of the connected-TV ads, and the second will
focus on ad metrics such as aided and unaided recall.
The Nielsen sample will represent 2.5% of connected
homes in the U.S.

“We’re going to do a deeper dive to find out why
some ads get better engagement,” Siegel said.

Rovi also is kicking off a connected-TV advertising
trial in Canada. The company has signed BMO
Bank of Montreal as its initial advertiser and will deploy,
manage and evaluate BMO campaigns across
the Samsung and Sony CE devices.