Viewers Crave TV Ad Fusion, Study Says

NEW YORK Sixty-six percent of interactive TV viewers said they would be “very interested” in interacting with commercials that piqued their interest, according to a recent study by market research firm Harris Interactive.

The study, commissioned by Ensequence, an interactive television company, was conducted online Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2007 among 2,949 U.S. adults.

“This was one of the things we found quite surprising in the research,” said Michele Bogdan, svp, marketing at Ensequence.

Also surprising, she said, was the fact that nearly 66 percent of respondents indicated that they were using their electric programming guides to either search for shows, schedule movies or access videos on demand.

“Even though consumers wouldn’t necessarily define themselves as using interactive television, at a basic level, that’s exactly what they are doing,” said Bogdan.

The first-time study was designed to gauge the demand for interactivity among TV viewers.

According to the survey, 72 percent of reality TV viewers want the ability to interact with these shows.

It also revealed that the demand for interactive television is not limited to reality shows, but that it cuts across all genres, “even in the drama category where you would think people are more interested in watching the show,” said Bogdan.

Bogdan said a number of brands are using interactive television to their advantage.

Last year, the company created over 25 interactive campaigns for advertisers such as Ford, Nike, Jeep and Reebok. For Nike, the campaign allowed viewers to progress from a typical 30-second commercial to a more engaging, integrated branding experience.

“It’s taking advertising to a completely new level. It’s making it very targeted, it’s allowing the consumer to have a much deeper engagement with the brand,” said Bogdan.