Comcast Claims Interactive Ad Success

Comcast exec says an interactive ad trial in San Francisco led to more TV viewers in one program's key demographic

June 25, 2010

2 Min Read
Comcast Claims Interactive Ad Success

ATLANTA -- Cable Next-Gen Video Strategies -- TV ads that let viewers set reminders to watch or record upcoming shows are already paying off, according to one Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) executive.

In one instance of an interactive TV ad campaign tested in San Francisco, Comcast Spotlight director of product management Kathleen DeBenedictis credits such "reminder" ads for bringing in more viewers in key demographics. "It's all about driving viewership to those programs," DeBenedictis told the audience here yesterday.

The campaign included interactive reminder spots run by Lifetime Television and CBS on Comcast's San Francisco system, where it says it has 1.2 million interactive TV-enabled homes. Two days prior to the premiere of Lifetime’s Project Runway series -- which targets women 18 to 49 -- the network ran "remind record" spots. The campaign resulted in a 74 percent higher viewership for the 18-to-49 demo in San Francisco compared to other top 20 markets, DeBenedictis said.

DeBenedictis said Comcast Spotlight has run about 200 paid interactive TV ad campaigns, including 15-second and 30-second tune-in campaigns from programmers. It is also running spots from advertisers that allow subscribers to request more information about a product. (See Canoe Boots Up Interactive Ad Campaign ).

Comcast also surveyed subscribers to get feedback on interactive ad campaigns. Some of the results: 98 percent of subscribers surveyed said the interactive ads are easy to use; 95 percent thought the interactive ads were appropriate; and 97 percent said they’d use interactive TV ads again in the future, DeBenedictis said.

“We’re definitely seeing that viewers are responding positively to these applications, and they perceive them as valuable.”

Refreshing 'tired' stories
In addition to interactive advertising, Comcast is stepping up its focus on interactive TV programming. The MSO plans to deploy an EBIF-based ITV application for CNN, which will afford digital cable subscribers access to news stories supplied by, Turner Broadcasting vice president of business development Michael Quigley said Thursday.

The application, which Turner has been developing for about two years, will prompt subscribers to press the select buttons on their remote controls to access text-based stories and photos supplied by, Quigley said.

The ITV application will also allow viewers to access VoD content from CNN from its linear TV channel. The app is designed to keep viewers tuned to the channel longer, according to Quigley.

“One of the things we have a need to address at CNN is when the viewer tunes to the network, and says, ‘I’m tired of the story.’ In that situation, without some kind of interaction, he could ultimately [change channels],” Quigley said.

— Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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