Rovi To Enhance TV Ad Targeting And Interactivity

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Rovi plans to offer Madison Avenue enhanced viewer-targeting and interactive TV ads, including request-for-information options, delivered via its television guide platform across more than 40 million cable set-top boxes, Internet-connected TVs and other devices.

Trying to bolster its case for the new ad formats, the company also is touting the results of its connected-TV ad trial, conducted in partnership with Nielsen, Sony and Samsung Electronics, showing high viewer engagement and recall. However, some of the consumer response should be attributed to the novelty factor of interactive TV ads.

According to the Rovi and Nielsen study, 80% of users noticed ads on the connected TV guides at least some of the time, and about one-third of users who noticed an ad clicked through. Of the total respondents, 52% recalled the ad -- and of those, 64% clicked through.

Other results from the trial's second phase, conducted in October: 97% of respondents who clicked through had intent to view and 75% had intent to purchase. Of viewers who visited an advertiser's interactive channel, 70% provided their email address, 85% visited the advertiser's website and half said they called its toll-free number.

"Having worked to establish a new viable ad channel, we are now focused on enhancing our network to help clients develop campaigns that drive higher levels of consumer engagement and results," Rovi senior vice president of worldwide advertising Jeff Siegel said.

Currently, Rovi's advertising network reached more than 40 million households worldwide. In announcing third-quarter 2011 results Tuesday, the company said it expects the ad network to reach 50 million homes by the end of the year, largely from launches by Cox Communications in key markets.

New capabilities Rovi expects to offer advertisers include pre-roll video insertion and the ability to embed long-form video in a dedicated advertiser portal. A request-for-information (RFI) feature will support click-to-call, email and quick response (QR) codes within advertisements. Rovi also plans to provide social-networking options to let viewers engage with marketers and share information via services like Facebook and Twitter.

On the targeting front, Rovi plans to let advertisers serve ads based on geographic, demographic and psychographic data. Those may include targeting by postal code, continent, designated market area, age, household income or genre-based searches.

In addition, Rovi plans to provide "T-commerce" capabilities to let viewers immediately purchase products and services in ads or programming using their remote control. The company also promises to enhance ad-measurement metrics for advertisers, including time spent, unique impressions, conversions and click-throughs based on census or sample data.