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Engaging the Common Couch Potato

The ways in which brands engage consumers digitally are constantly changing. Online, brands are conversing with consumers through social media. In print, consumers are interacting with brands via QR codes on their ads. But there is one behemoth in the media world that has been very slow to accommodate a society that enjoys instant interaction: television. Brands are just starting to realize the potential of engaging consumers though TV advertising. Over the past few months this has become misoprostol more noticeable. Cable companies are beginning to offer interactive ads to brands. Here's how an interactive ad works: a commercial will start playing and shortly after, a prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen allowing viewers to decide if they would like to see more information. Brands can also choose to offer product samples, coupons, or other types of perks for the consumer. For example, recently, Comcast customers in Pennsylvania were able to use their remotes during Hershey's commercials to opt to receive coupons for Hershey's candy. There are also ways to engage with television viewers without going through cable companies. Old Navy, after killing their 'Supermodelquins'? campaign, is partnering with Shazam, a music recognition application for smartphones, to interact with television viewers. While Old Navy ads play, a notification appears in the corner of the screen prompting viewers to pull out their smartphones and 'Shazam'? the song playing during the ad. When they do, they are directed to 'secret goodies, song downloads, style tips and more.'? Utilizing methods such as these can provide brands with quantifiable results as to how many consumers actually took the time to interact with their ads - this will aid in gauging the effectiveness of their media spend. In my opinion, television advertising needs to become less 'traditional'? and more innovative if it wants to better compete in the new media market for many reasons. First, viewers are usually engaged in other activities while watching TV ' they are more than willing to multi-task. Second, with the saturation in the market of video game systems like Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, and PlayStation Move, consumers are becoming more accepting of interacting with their television. Finally, if brands don't start engaging viewers via television, they won't appear as technologically savvy as their competitors. We as marketers work in a multi-screen, multi-tasking world and we need to constantly adapt. The possibilities for instantly engaging consumers via television are endless, and worth figuring out.

Welcome to more choice, more control, more speed.

Author's Note: Comcast is an AMP client, but we are not involved in their direct mail marketing and I am not involved in the account.  Just wanted to share a positive consumer experience, which happens to be from one of our clients. It is safe to say that most apartment building mailrooms have a collection of junk mail/direct mail pieces filling up the recycling bin. There are days that I don't even read the title of the latest mailer ' if there are 3 other copies of it in the recycling bin, I promptly add mine to the collection. If 3 other people thought it was junk, that's all I need to know. I recently received a piece of direct mail with a cool red graphic on the front ' and when I glanced in the recycle bin, no one else had tossed theirs, so I kept it. The front read 'xfinity. Welcome to more choice, more control, more speed. And more HD than ever before.'   After reading the xfinity mailer, I was pleasantly surprised that they weren't trying to sell me more choice/control/speed or HD.  Apparently while I had been traveling, xfinity had snuck into my cable box and left me with a complimentary system upgrade. I was skeptical (how much would this free upgrade increase my next bill?) but this 'junk mail'? actually made it out of the mailroom and up to my apartment. Later that day, I was setting my DVR for the next Yankees game, and before I could select it to record both the game and the post-game show (this is how I've been recording the 'end' of the game, since the Yanks usually go beyond their scheduled time'?¦), xfinity prompted me with something like: 'This program might run over, do you want to extend this recording and for how long?'  Amazing!  Yes I do want to extend it, and hey xfinity, you just saved me from doing it the long way, I appreciate that.  Other new xfinity features included searching for programs with an on-screen keyboard to enter the program name, and significantly quicker searching (remember how you would try to advance a few hours forward in the guide menu and you would end up on next Thursday?   Totally fixed.)  All of this positive xfinity energy had me updating my facebook status that night, following @comcastcares on twitter and sending a few texts to spread the news. I might be a more avid DVR user than most, but I appreciate the $0.03 that xfinity probably spent on my non-junk mail, because I am hooked on the new experience.  While these are not ground-breaking DVR features, (obvious even) they have successfully changed my DVR experience.  If xfinity had under-delivered on this promise of more control/more speed/more choice, as marketers often do, it would have been just another piece of junk mail. But now I find myself actually looking forward to the next piece of non-junk mail from xfinity, as long as it's not another Triple Play offer. So marketers, the next time your brand has something to say ' whether it's via direct mail, on a social network or at an event: make it catchy, keep it relevant and most importantly, deliver on your promise.  You will have friends and fans in no time.  Hey xfinity ' talk to me.  I'm listening.  And watching.

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