The move towards two-way advertising has been much heralded. The digital world has allowed advertising to become more participatory, and consumers are starting to demand the ability to interact directly with their brands (great study here).
That is why it is so exciting to see the giant $65 billion television advertising market start to give two-way advertising a spin. The Wall Street Journal had a great article this week (Talking Back to the TV) about how major players in the television advertising industry are enabling interactive features in tv ads.
Both Unilever and P&G were featured in the article for their early success with the new features. Unilever’s Axe brand, for example, had more than 3.5 million users spend an average of 5 minutes playing with their interactive advertisement.
Even more interesting, P&G’s Charmin advertisement married in a direct response component, allowing tv viewers to request a Charmin coupon through the mail.
I find this tie-in to direct response pretty exciting. Think about the possibilities of a CPG brand being able to capture an actual sale directly through a tv ad.
The Charmin advertisement featured in the WSJ piece delivered a traditional paper coupon to the user, but this is just the start of the possibilities. For example, what if the user could link the coupon directly to a store loyalty card? Or submit an e-mail address and have a digital coupon e-mailed to them for use at the CPG’s own online store (or a shared storefront like Alice.com). In these advancements, the CPG company not only captures a sale, it is able to assign an ROI directly to the tv advertisement, and gain rich insights into the actual customer segment responding to the ad. Accountable television advertising may (finally) be coming.
The lack of a uniform technology platform will certainly slow adoption, but the possibilities are exciting and the development of this new digital, interactive environment will be fun to watch.