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Tivo Bringing Search to Ads

By - November 28, 2005

Tivo-1The bricks keep getting laid in my TV/Search scenario. The WSJ (paid reg) (update free link is now avail) reports that Tivo is partnering with several large agencies to bring topic-specific search to TV advertisements.

From the piece:

People who watch traditional television are forced to view commercials in random fashion, regardless of what they may be interested in buying, says Tom Rogers, TiVo’s president and chief executive. “We’re flipping the dynamic,” he says, allowing TiVo subscribers to search for ads that match their interests. “If you are in the market for a product, and you have no idea when commercials related to that kind of product are going to appear, it doesn’t help you very much,” he adds.

TiVo users will be able to set up a profile of products on their television screens by clicking on categories such as automotive or travel or typing in keywords such as “BMW” or “cruises.” On a regular basis, TiVo will then download relevant commercials to TiVo recorders over the Internet or, for those users who don’t have broadband, send the video via traditional broadcast signals. The commercials will appear on-screen in a folder next to the list of television shows TiVo users record.

Advertisers, in turn, will be able to select the keywords and categories with which they wish to be associated for their ads. TiVo is in discussions with advertising agencies about the best way to price such advertising, but one option is to let advertisers bid on keywords as they do when buying ads on Internet search engines.

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3 thoughts on “Tivo Bringing Search to Ads

  1. erik says:

    The commercials will be housed in a separate folder on the “now playing” TiVo screen? Pardon me for not rushing right out to win those first few keyword auctions 🙂

    This seems to ignore the whole factor of TV commercials benefiting from the “captive audience” factor. If this keyword technology is eventually rolled into the “ads-during-fast-forward” system that TiVo tried out earlier in the year, I think it will be much more successful. Otherwise, it will really put a burden on advertisers to come up with an ad that people actually want to see (or that they can be convinced they want to see), which will likely require an additional PR blitz and viral campaign at the commercial’s introduction.

  2. Dave Newcorn says:

    Aside from the problem of not having the right ads inventory to match subscriber profiles as described in the preceding comment, a bigger problem will be getting Tivo subscribers to take the time to fill out a profile form. Even if they do, the items they’re in the market for (a mutual fund, a vacation, a new PC) will vary over time. I doubt consumers will take the time to update their profile every time their needs change. Another case where just because the technology enables it, doesn’t mean human behavior will follow.

  3. Caroline Clark says:

    Good Day

    I apologise for bothering you, but I’m on a bit of a “fishing expedition” here and thought to ask those who work with this stuff everyday, in case you know?

    I’m trying to source/track down that ad on TV of a young boy kicking for the rugby posts, but he kicks “skew” every time, and then a man from the sidelines brings him a bucket of sand to hold, and the weight of that corrects his kick and he gets the goal posts every time – any idea which advertising house made that and/or for what company/product that ad is? I have an idea in my head that it’s one of the insurance or financial houses?

    Caroline Clark
    Direct : +27 11 241-6902
    Fax : +27 11 388-8473
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