Canoe Boots Up Interactive Ad Campaign

ATLANTA -- Cable Next-Gen Video Strategies -- Following earlier delays, Canoe Ventures LLC -- an advanced advertising joint venture backed by six major MSOs -- has launched an ITV ad campaign in which subscribers can press the select button on their remote controls to request more information from an advertiser.

"It is a real paying campaign with our RFI [request for more information] template," Canoe chief technology officer Arthur Orduña said here Thursday. "It is cross-MSO to millions of households. It is in at least two of our MSO owners and multiple markets," he added.

While Orduña wouldn't say which MSOs have started to offer the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF)-powered interactive ads, Canoe CEO David Verklin disclosed this week that two cable partners -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) -- had introduced the RFI campaign with a national programmer.

Orduña wouldn't detail which national cable networks may currently be running ads on cable systems. But he noted that Canoe has announced that it has partnerships with four national network groups -- NBC Universal , Comcast Networks Group, Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), and Rainbow Media Holdings, the programming arm of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), another Canoe partner.

Orduña also touted Canoe's eventual expansion into enabling dynamic ad insertion for cable MSOs and programmers. The company hopes to allow cable programmers that sell ads in programs distributed online to insert easily the same spots in video-on-demand (VoD) programming running on cable systems nationwide.

"Those national programmers are selling non-linear inventory today. It's just not showing up on your VoD systems today -- it's showing up on your PC," Orduña said. Canoe is working with several national cable networks and MSOs on a platform that would enable programmers to dynamically insert ads in VoD programs, he said. (See Canoe Experiments With VoD Ads.)

Programmers are poised to increase ad revenue by inserting ads in primetime series and other content distributed on VoD systems, Orduña said. "Theoretically you could have a tremendous amount of inventory," he said.

Canoe, which is backed by Comcast, TWC, Charter Communications Inc. , Cablevision, and Bright House Networks , is working on a way for programmers to dynamically insert ads that can run on VoD systems from multiple MSOs, Orduna said. The key is finding a way to make it easy for programmers to place VoD ads, he added.

"They [networks] have existing systems, existing tools, existing sales forces, and they've got a set of CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). They literally just want to make a very, very minimal effort or change to expand that to take advantage of what cable can do with non-linear presentation," Orduña said.

Orduña didn't offer a timetable on when Canoe's MSO backers and national cable networks would begin deploying dynamic ad insertion, but extensive work in the lab is already underway. "There are dates that those national programmers would like to see realized. Some are realistic. Some are not," Orduña said.

— Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:31:14 PM
re: Canoe Boots Up Interactive Ad Campaign

Canoe's still not saying much about which advertisers or networks are participating early on, but Todd Spangler at Multichannel News reports that the Style network is running RFIs from Wrigley that offer a free sample of Orbits gum among the initial interactive ad campaigns to come out of the cable JV.

 Comcast and Time Warner Cable are the intial Canoe partners to run these EBIF ads, but aren't saying where.  Anyone in a Comcast or TWC market come across one yet?  I'm not a Style regular, but nothing seen by me here in Denver yet. JB


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