TiVo presents: a targeted word from our sponsor!

Well, I’d like to claim credit for it, but I’m sure it was already in the works when I posted this idea last night.

TiVo has already decided to give subscribers the option to receive targeted ads:

TiVo will soon offer subscribers a way to customize some of the ads
they receive — and offer advertisers a way to make sure they’re
targeting consumers who want what they’re pitching.

The new
service won’t conflict with ads seen (or fast-forwarded) in live or
on-demand viewing or the "showcases" of longform advertising that
appear in a menu, often purchased by automakers or movie studios.

Instead,
this new feature will work in much the same way TiVo subscribers create
"WishLists" to find programs. But instead of Jimmy Stewart movies or TV
shows about baseball, TiVo users would register a profile with the
company based on their interests. Then, in a section of the TiVo menu
system, they will find ads — short- and longform — based on their
interests.

Someone in the market for a new car would find ads for cars that someone who isn’t would never see, for instance.

"What
we’ve learned is, TiVo customers want to know about new products and
services but on their own time," TiVo vp national advertising sales
Davina Kent said.

I dislike advertising, but it’s a fact of life. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to tune it out, via mute buttons and fast forwarding, but as I said yesterday, I’d be much more inclined to pay attention to advertising for products or services I care about than the bullshit they spew out of the box right now.

What I’d really like to see is some sort of advertising model with TiVo which would allow indie publishers (like Monolith Press, or Vagrant Records) to reach interested viewers at reduced rates. If I could afford it, I would absolutely advertise Monolith products to audiences I think would enjoy them, but there’s no way I can afford to advertise on Family Guy or Alias. And I think that Do You Want Kids With That? would probably do very well with Oprah’s audience, but that would cost me more than I make in ten years.

13 thoughts on “TiVo presents: a targeted word from our sponsor!”

  1. I think it should be like when you order stuff online, they always give you a bunch of interests to check and then send you email offers based on your interests.
    As for putting your book on Oprah, you should send her one. Or get your agent to book you on the show when the book comes out.
    Just don’t go jumping on any couches while you’re there :)

  2. I’ve learned from working on an advertising funded website (WhitePages.com), it’s generally more expensive to do targetted advertising than just blast it out, at least per showing. (That’s why you see sites like that often asking for demographic information. We make more money if you fill it out.)
    The thing that you really need for indie distributed ads is not just targetting (though that’s key), but the ability to limit distribution. So, you could buy 10000 Oprah Viewers, and the other 69 million would see ads for the new 2006 Ford Prefect, unaware that some people got the special targetted ad.
    That would be a good thing.

  3. “And I think that Do You Want Kids With That? would probably do very well with Oprah’s audience, but that would cost me more than I make in ten years.” You should go on her show. You have so much to offer.

  4. work the angle of getting the book on her “book club” reading list.
    Then you wouldn’t have to worry about “what you make in 10 years”, anymore.
    Hell, it would probably pay better than Poker, in the long run!!

  5. Man, as a bookstore worker I freakin’ HATE Oprah and her book club, but I would lift my Oprah=evil outlook if she promoted your book…at least while you were on the show and the book was on her list. You’ve got quite an idea there. Oprah is God to most people. If your book is on her show at 4, by 5:02 it will be sold out of every bookstore in the country :)

  6. The advertising message / filtering technologies are currently in an arms race. Here is a though experiment: What would it take to fool a spam filtering agent that is able to detect unwanted advertising as well as you, a human, are able to?
    The race will end with two components. Software agents that are able to understand messages at a deep semantic level will filter content trying to reach you based on what you actually want to see. Advertisers will attempt to create ads that are actually useful, informative, and accurate in an effort to get past the filters.
    This will apply to nearly all forms of advertising from television to radio to web pages to email. I can even imagine ways it could apply to billboards and other outdoor advertising.

  7. hmmm I wonder if you did send Oprah a book if she would get it or not. I bet she doesn’t open her own mail.
    One thing I heard that made me think of your book – “My daddy is the guy that takes care of my mommy” from a twenty-something girl about her parents. I hope your boys feel the same way.

  8. As a publisher of content that doesn’t appeal to everyone, I love this idea.
    As a consumer of media, I’d rather have some degree of choice over ad content (screen out beer ads … at least non-microbrew beer ads, replace with book & movie ads).

  9. Wil, you rule. You think something up and BAM! it happens the next day.
    Would you please do a post about me winning a million bucks? I could really use it tomorrow.

  10. Wil (and my fellow peers)…

    It is my belief that the standard commericials of today will become obsolete very soon. This will happen when digital broadcasting will be the “norm” and linear broadcasting obsolete. As for Advertising, it will be sought, but none of those 30 second Jingle wielding, stupidity laden, image blasting kind of commercials. More likely a 1 to 5 minute rundown of information and services. Here is what I mean:
    Say you had just finished watching CSI:(Any) and you wonder how much one of those Hummers cost… Type pad in “Hummer”, hit the Commercial button, and you get a choice screen from Hummer with information of products/services and length of viewing.

    As for the commercials that offer breaks in the program, instead of being STANDARD commercials, they would only be a “Blip-vert” (Hey…I had to say it! Actually more of a SPOT ad) which might say “New Hummer 3′s (with small roll-in clip and code HUM333. Next to that would be “Quick Meals Ideas – Campbells”(with spinning soup can) code: CSoups42, etc. [These would lead to SPECIFIC Information for each company. If you don't know the code to something, then you could enter C-A-M-P-B-E-L-L-S (or even mispell) any product or source, and the ad service will bring up a general screen with choices.
    If we already have it for our computers, why not make things for accessible on televisions? This would prove more reasonable since the people in the US tend to sit in front of one screen or another for a portion of their day.
    Basically said, the "commercials" would be an INFORMATION NOW (when I want it) technology, instead of the 28 second blurb. So instead of SIX 30-second spots, there could be ONE 3-minute spot of 6 choices with Product Sources, Graphics and Codes to access them.

    No longer would we be force-fed something we have no interest in and have access to what we DO want.
    ======================================================
    [So a "Commercial Break" could typically look like a glorified graphic selection screen with a countdown]
    *Shoe Pic* ATHLETIC SHOE SALE (Pony, Nike, Puma, Adidas, and More)
    FootLocker     Code: FSHOE2005

    *Jacket Pic* QUALITY SUITS/EASY ON WALLET
    Men’s Wearhouse    Code: SUITUP999

    *Sub Sandwich* HUNGRY? EAT FRESH!
    Subway    Code: Subway6

    *Duel Scale* INJURED? GET CASH SETTLEMENT
    Mudson & Muddson Law Firm    Code: IMHURT86

    *Round Table Logo* WOMBO COMBO IS BACK! (Limited Time!!!)
    Round Table     Code: WOMBO111

    *Oil Can* 10-MINUTE OIL CHANGE (20% OFF FIRST VISIT)
    Zippy Dan’s   Code: ZIPPYD20

    –Time Remaining 02:34–
    ((It’s kind of like fancy “File Folder Tags” instead of invasive ads))
    ======================================================
    Hey…Pizza! That sounds good.
    [I don't "HAVE TO" choose a code. Instead I type in "PIZZA" and push COMMERCIAL]
    (I Get A List:)
    1 Restaurant
    2 Delivery
    3 Pick Up
    4 Pizza Styles
    ======================================================
    [I choose 1]
    (I get local listings:)
    1 Round Table
    2 Pizza Hut
    3 Dominos
    4 Papa Murphy’s (Take & Bake)
    5 Costco
    6 Luigi’s
    7 Gaia’s
    8 Pizza Roma
    9 Whole Mirth
    0 -more-
    ======================================================
    [I choose 6]
    **Bulletin Board Style Ad With Business Pictures**
    LUIGI’S
    Serves Authentic New York Style Pizza baked in Stone Ovens. Eat-In or Take-Out (No Delivery)
    }}SPECIAL-Buy a whole pizza (or 2 entrées) & 2 beverages, get 10% Off entire order{{
    HOURS:
    TUESDAY-THURSDAY 10am-11pm
    FRIDAY-SATURDAY 10am-1am
    SUNDAY 10am-8pm
    MONDAY –Closed–
    LOCATION:
    4321 Main Street (at Oak Terrace)
    YourTown, USA
    (213)555-5844
    [It's 2pm, I grab a friend and head for Luigi's]
    ======================================================
    ======================================================
    Not all ads would be Bulletin Board style. Some would be the stock commercial itself, or customized commercial for your local source.
    If you think about it, it’s not that ludicrous or far-fetched. It will probably be more popular than “The Yellow Pages” and even more personally stylized.
    ((Note: NO…I do NOT work for an ad agency or the like. It’s just the nature of us in the “I want it NOW society”))

  11. Tivo is awesome, it’s about time I can pick not to see the erectile dysfunction ads.
    On another note: Wil has a posse and it could be heard over at Oprah’s website.
    There is a form to make show suggestions. I’m not going to post the link, in case Wil would rather his posse swamp Oprah’s site.
    Think about it though, the Wil Wheaton-ifacation of Oprah.

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