TiVo Says Choose Your Own Damn Commercials
from the gimmicks-instead-of-usefulness? dept
For all the hype and talk over the impact of DVR users skipping ads, you have to give TiVo credit for being extremely willing to experiment with trying to change the traditional TV commercial. Over the years, they’ve come up with a variety of experiments — some much more clever than others. It still seems like their first attempt was one of the most intriguing. Back in 2001, the company offered a sweepstakes for a new Lexus, where contestants needed to answer a bunch of questions where the answers were hidden in a variety of Lexus commercials. Conveniently, TiVo would automatically record all of the necessary commercials and store them in a separate area. Since then, not all of the experiments have been that inspired. There were forced recordings of shows, the ability to “click-through” commercials to get more info on the product being advertised, and the especially questionable plan to let viewers automatically forward their personal info to advertisers if they wanted more info about a product. TiVo’s latest moves play on the growing trend of TV execs to (finally!) recognize that ads are “content” too. Instead of just pushing commercials to users or letting them click through for more info, TiVo users will have the ability to choose their own ending to a commercial for new Sony TVs. The idea is that men get to watch one commercial while women get to watch another. If anything, it’s really not that different than the earlier “click through for more info” ads — but with a bit of choice and a male/female gimmick. The company is also getting ready to roll out “commercials on demand” that will allow users to sometimes select the commercials they’d like to see — though, the details on that plan are pretty hazy at this point. Again, it’s not clear that any of these experiments will actually work, but it’s still good to see the industry experiment a little bit.