ITV advertising on demand

Media Experts has seen the future of TV advertising - and it is interactive, on-demand, and called etc.tv.

Media Experts has seen the future of TV advertising – and it is interactive, on-demand, and called etc.tv.

The iTV Lab division of the Montreal-based media management firm spent three years developing this new TV ad model and is now working with Videotron to deliver Canada’s first advertising-on-demand network into Quebec homes through the cableco’s illico interactive system.

Etc.tv is not a new channel option on the dial, says Mark Sherman, president of Media Experts; it’s the beginning of a new era in TV advertising where the consumer is increasingly in control of their entertainment and ad consumption.

Sherman explains that if, for example, a typical brand sell spot for Campbell’s soup comes on, digital homes would see an etc.tv icon on the screen to let them know that extended video information is available. When ‘select’ is pressed on the remote control, an overlay drops down over the ad telling the viewer that a half-hour show on cooking with Campbell’s soup was available. Three options would be offered: to watch the cooking show right away by pressing A on the remote; to bookmark the cooking show for later by pressing B; or to return to the live program stream by pressing C.

Bookmarking the program doesn’t cause the program to download and take up space on the viewers’ PVR but rather, like other VOD content, allows them to call up the content from Videotron’s hard drive while still having the functionality of a PVR including stop, rewind, and fast forward.

‘Etc.tv is a kind of bridge that enables you to get more information,’ says Sherman. ‘It can be any type of branded content or demonstration of product attributes and services.’

Etc.tv also gives advertisers accountability and enables them to talk to qualified consumers who opt in to view long-form ads and branded programming.

Videotron has 1,45 million cable customers in Quebec; 308,000 of them subscribe to its illico interactive system. Etc.tv will be in test mode until rollout in summer 2005.