Best Buy to Boost Tivo Marketing Spend in Wide-Ranging Deal

Longtime partners Best Buy and Tivo have strengthened their relationship through a multi-year contract. As part of the deal, the consumer electronics purveyor has agreed to boost its marketing spending with the DVR service. The partnership may lead to new ad formats on the Tivo platform and Tivo integration with Best Buy’s store brand products.

The deal “allows both companies to explore and participate in the growth of the platform,” said Tivo SVP of Sales and Marketing Joe Miller. Best Buy has “signed up to a substantially increased marketing commitment on the Tivo service,” he added. Exactly how much more Best Buy has agreed to spend on Tivo was not revealed, nor was the length of the contract.

In the short term, those additional marketing dollars will result in more Tivo-based campaigns for Best Buy products such as HDTVs. The retailer has marketed through the digital television platform for 10 years, and ran an HDTV-related consumer education campaign in November 2008 using Tivo.

“This relationship is an acknowledgement that Tivo is a media platform and an advertising platform,” said Miller, describing advertising on Tivo as “essentially a television campaign with Web-based metrics.”

In the longer run, the companies plan to work together to add Tivo technology to televisions and other products sold exclusively at Best Buy. Product developers and marketers associated with the Insignia line of HDTVs, for instance, will work with Tivo’s product development and marketing team on the project, said Miller. They’ll work on “how to make these TVs a truly interactive platform… Consider it Tivo inside.”

The two also expect to co-develop user interfaces, search, and other functionality for additional product brands sold exclusively at Best Buy, including computer and digital device brands Dynex and Init.

“They would like to take a long-term position and really innovate,” Miller said.

Because the electronics seller has a history of promoting its products through the platform, its assistance in promoting Tivo distribution means a larger audience for Best Buy’s marketing content. The retailer has run campaigns through the platform for several years. For example, it used the platform in 2002 and 2003 to promote its mobile products and distribute a sponsored short film. “Over the years they’ve decided to use the Tivo platform as a unique way to communicate to our customer base,” said Miller.

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