Business Week’s 10/17/05 article “Hey, Advertisers, TiVo Is Your Friend” obviously caught my eye. David Kiley spotlights “ad guru” Rishad Tobaccowala and the inevitability of advertisers finding us in the “new-media” era. I can only hope, as we move forward, that the Comcasts and TiVos of the world will advocate for consumers and strike a reasonable balance that allows them to rake in the advertising bucks without spamming us into oblivion.
Business Week says: His advice? Adapt to consumers’ changing behavior rather than try to cling to the status quo. People’s preference for consuming content when they want it will only grow, he says. He predicts 30% of U.S. homes will have DVRs in less than two years. Pair this preference for on-demand content with the ability to search for video on Google or Yahoo, download it over speedy broadband links, and zip it to the living room TV, and traditional TV schedules will be rendered meaningless.
And advertisers will have much more information they can use to target particular viewers. Rather than knowing simply what percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds watch Desperate Housewives, they’ll be able to figure out which people watch, how frequently, and what they’ve been searching for recently on the Net. Advertising can become more science and less art.
Over the past 2 1/2 years, Tobaccowala has urged clients, including BMW and Coca-Cola, to cut deals with TiVo and cable companies to create more compelling and targeted messages. GM tried experimental ads on Comcast Corp.’s video-on-demand ser-vice in Philadelphia last year. Each month 10,000 people chose to view GM’s one- to two-minute ads featuring test-driving segments and in-depth vehicle profiles. Next year, GM plans to roll out slicker ads for most of its vehicles on three more cable systems. “On-demand is going to explode, and we need to be ready for that,” says Jack Bowen, GM’s general manager for customer relationship marketing.