Footwear marketer Reebok International is taking a step into interactive TV advertising, offering exclusive video-on-demand (VOD) content featuring interviews with NBA star Allen Iverson, along with hip-hop musicians Jay-Z and 50 Cent.
The interactive video content will be available to Comcast's digital subscribers in the Philadelphia market, where Iverson plays for the 76ers. It's designed to promote Reebok's urban-oriented brand, Rbk, which it launched in 2002.
The iTV effort is part of Reebok's "I Am What I Am" integrated campaign, which the company says represents its biggest advertising spend in more than a decade. New York advertising agency mcgarrybowen came up with the campaign's overall concept. ITV agency BrightLine Partners handled the iTV creative and media. Spending for the iTV unit wasn't disclosed.
"This campaign represents a natural progression for the 'I Am What I Am' campaign by further establishing Rbk as being on the cutting edge of content and technology," said Marc Fireman, Reebok's director of interactive marketing, in a statement. "VOD enables us to extend consumer exposure and engagement with essential qualities of our brand."
Thirty-second spots from Reebok will tease the iTV programming by asking viewers to visit Comcast's on-demand channel, where they can access the long-form videos. Those spots will appear on 76ers basketball games as well as on other NBA programming. They'll also air on MTV, BET, Spike TV and Comedy Central.
"We want to pick up a broader audience than just basketball fans," said Robert Aksman, director of creative development at BrightLine.
Aksman said the agency would measure the amount of traffic and number of unique visitors to the VOD unit. BrightLine will also monitor which videos, how many videos, and what portion of videos people watch. The company won't be able to access any demographic or personal information about the Comcast digital subscribers that interact with the content.
The interactive content launches April 11.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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