‘you gotta make the adverts last. (you have to sing/think that in Simon and Garfunkel mode of course). In a world of on-demand – whether via (1) synch’d Personal Digital Recorder (eg: iPod, PSP), (2) broadcast capture (DVR, TiVo) or (3) straight forward server pull (cable, dsl, broadband) – advertising as we currently know it will find it harder and harder to reach viewer eyeballs. Viewers simply skip stuff they dont want to see. Expect to see more of the initiatives/techniques like the recent KFC commercial that hits screens in the US last week. As CNN reports

“This is taking the exact opposition approach ” rewarding viewers for taking the time to engage and be interactive with television, said Tom O’Keefe, an executive at Foote Cone & Belding, the advertising agency that created the spot for KFC Corp. For those savvy enough to solve the secret, the prize is a coupon for KFC’s new, sauce-drenched Buffalo Snacker chicken sandwich. The 99-cent Snacker debuted a year ago and is credited in KFC’s earnings rebound.(snip) The ads will air on NBC’s Winter Olympic telecasts as well as on several other networks. The secret message explaining how to redeem the free sandwich offer is planted in just a few of the spot’s frames and revealed when replayed in slow motion. “To the naked eye, it’s a typical KFC television commercial”, he said.

This has been tried before of course by TiVO in the UK and the US but I hope, nay expect, that advertisers will employ more and more innovative ways to get viewers ˜playing’ with ads. On-demand by implication means there will always be a range of trick modes (stop, pause, rw, ff etc) in all systems and devices – DVD’s included (but I am always amazed how many DVD’s annoy viewers with their non-skip front end studio branding). In fact this ˜frame insertion’ and ˜time-remap’ technique is a great way to make new interesting interactive formats too – anything that requires an element of investigation frame-by-frame, or at a different play-back rate (reverse included) – so ARG’s, interactive TV on-demand, game/film combinations all making use of trick modes. What better way to get viewers spending minutes and potentially hours, stepping frame-by-frame, moving backwards and forwards through your content looking for clues. rewards, cookies.

When I chaired the business models group at TV-Anytime (the standard enabling new interactive models in a world of anytime, anywhere, anyhow) we came up with a multitude of ad models that could exist with far more relevance than in scheduled TV, Cinema and Radio environments. Here is a presentation (600k PDF) I gave at NAB 2003 which referenced some of the key advertising issues in an on-demand world, particularly targeting and metadata issues but also looking at the new forms of content that will need to exist both from story-tellers and advertisers (the best advertisers are of course the best story tellers). Later DiMA (the Digital Media Association) gave a great presentation to TV-Anytime in 2004 entitled TVA Future of TV Advertising (330k PDF). The DiMA presentation is far more focused on intelligent insertion and reaching audiences that actually want to see the ad rather than being ˜hoodwinked’ into looking at something they wouldn’t ordinarily bother with’

*In 2009, 58m In 2009, 58m2* 2* households will have DVR households will have DVRÂ’s/VOD or both. s/VOD or both. *If merely 40% of the top 100 National TV Advertisers ‘enhance ‘ just 16 of their 30 sec spots with Showcases there will 8,784 long form ad units on DVRÂ’s and/or VOD servers. * If the average duration of each unit is 3 minutes & 1 week of avail time per enhanced ad * If the Average viewership utilization of Enhanced Ads is 6% then 1.44 enhanced ads per day per household will be viewed. * If the Average Cost Per Engagement of each enhanced long form ad played is $0.05, then: * The total Media Revenue under these assumptions is: * $1,528,416,000 * And that does not include local spot, scatter, Co-op, or any other significant new form of Advertising. It does not model any significant new form of Advertising. It does not model any ‘storage’ or data/metrics fees that result from distribution of these ads. * But the most significant question of all still remains:

and on that cliff-hanger I shall finish this post, after all the best form of advertising is often the ˜leave them wanting more’, compelling them to tune in again, pointing them at the story continued on other platforms (or near to point of sale!) or at the very least be intrigued. A technique as old as the hills, the hard part is moving those large mounds into the new landscape. Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006