BMW this week became the first advertiser to use TiVo's new interactive advertising features within a program, embedding interactive tags into an episode of Speed Network's Test Drive series featuring its new M line of cars.
"These tags give BMW the opportunity to reach out and connect with viewers during the actual BMW M Edition of Test Drive program itself -- a time of peak engagement with the brand," Janice Suter, associate media director at Omnicom's GSD&M, BMW's interactive agency of record, told ClickZ. "The nature of Speed's Test Drive series, particularly the BMW edition, really made the idea to tag in-program a no-brainer. You just can't get any more relevant than that."
The tags, first introduced last August, appear at the top of the screen during certain advertisements to allow the viewer to pause live TV and get more information about a product. Advertisers have used the tags in commercials to offer more information or coupons by mail, or to encourage viewers to record a certain show.
This is the first time an advertiser has used the tags within a TV show. They appear during a few different points of the Test Drive episode that features BMW's M line, offering users the chance to sign up to receive a brochure, help them find a nearby dealer, or let them watch an exclusive product video for the new M line of cars. BMW is also using tags in commercials to remind viewers to record the Test Drive episodes featuring BMW.
"The tags work with our commercial inventory to add depth and a richer brand experience for viewers who opt-in. The ability to measure viewership and interaction with the BMW brand is extremely valuable to us as it provides insight into the behavior of consumers who now have more control than ever over their television viewing," Suter said.
In addition to helping BMW's messaging breaking out of the :30 spot, the tags give more measurable results for product placement initiatives, she said.
"Product placement has been a challenge to figure out from a value perspective due to the many variables involved. We've got proprietary tools in place to valuate product placement, but these in-program tags will generate concrete data, giving us a more accurate ROI overall," Suter said.
Several brands have used the tags inside advertisements in the past year, including automaker GM, The WB network, and E-Trade.
Other big brands testing the TiVo waters include Chrysler and 20th Century Fox. Last month, Interpublic committed millions in the first TiVo upfront deal for its clients, which include Sony, Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
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