For example, companies could have adverts sent to viewers matching their target demographic who happen to be waiting for a bus close to shops where their products are on sale. People taking part in the trial download a small computer program – a Java application – onto their phones. The application is also used to change channels on the phone as well as to give viewers the chance to vote interactively during programmes, and send audio and video messages.
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Each time TiVo customers view a recorded program, the new menu options will appear alongside the delete or save options. Those new options will include a brand logo or question asking if the viewer would like to watch promotional content, which can run up to two minutes. The feature is opt-in, so that customers can watch products they are interested in and skip the rest. For advertisers, TiVo is offering to target their ads to a specific show or genre. It will also record the view and response rate metrics associated with the spot. The Weather Channel, for example, is offering a spot for a new show called Abrams & Bettes. TiVo can measure how many people view the promo, and how many set their TiVo to record the show after viewing the promo.
Reider also put forth “acceptable” ways to be part of the YouTube “community”: sponsor the YouTube “front door,” or buy a PVA, participatory video ad. Reider did not mention, however, that $25,000 is the starting price for access to YouTubers.
Although the value and reach that consumer-generated content can project is tremendous, significant challenges exist to harnessing its influence. The most avid user generated vanguards are not pleased with being marketed to and brand marketers must relinquish control in order to actively participate in the medium.
A Web site is offering to pay people to recommend stories and thus move them up the page on the Digg news aggregation site where people submit and vote on the stories they like by “digging” them. The User Submitter Web site purports to pay people 50 cents for digging three stories and charges $20 for each story submitted to the site, plus $1 for every digg it gets.
1st Financial also runs a Web site called CollegeData, which provides high school seniors with extensive information about how to apply for college. To register for the site, a students is asked to provide key information that credit card companies would want to know. Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for San Francisco’s Consumer Action, says college students should be wary of this connection.
Read Predator banks run bogus college advice sites to collect student data from ZDNet’s Education blog