Back in the 90s, my Cube of Advertising Value model theorized that future media would justify higher CPMs based on three dimensions: addressability, interactivity and impact per impression. I argued to my television clients that they were already acknowledged to lead in impact per impression but that they were open to ad spend share loss to the oncoming wave of digital media unless they added three more virtues to television: addressability, interactivity, and greater measurability at the level of response. They thanked me and said they would add those things in the future but they saw no need to hurry. I’m not happy about being able to be an I-told-you-so.
Today, television is fast catching up in terms of addressability and greater measurability but is still lagging in interactivity. Many of the best premium digital video streaming and CTV advertising campaigns are still behind in containing interactive elements that make it easy for viewers to behaviorally engage.
Even further back in time, in the late 80s, I first met Andrew Pakula. He was a successful agency new business exec with major agencies and big ideas and had just invented and launched an interactive kiosk system for airports. He was developing concepts and technologies for ad interactivity, way ahead of his time. I was surprised how easefully he learned to work with and lead technology. We together came up with ideas for ads in videogames that are still not yet in practice today. We also teamed up with Mike Drexler then running media at Bozell Worldwide, to offer a kiosk interactive movie trailer and ticket sales project to Hollywood that five of the seven top studies joined. After a stint in assisting Yahoo! with its initial ad and sales strategy, Andy built a company called Orb which collected far more accountable data than anyone else in the early digital ad business. Orb was credited with introducing accountable ROI models to the ad industry when the rest of the industry focused on CPM and CPC models. Today, Andy has a company called WiO which makes it easy to add interactive engagement to TV media on a mass scale while receiving instant TV data and measurement which has historically been difficult to achieve in the industry. WiO can essentially add interactivity to any medium with any ingestion mode including QR Code, Text, Voice, and other new formats that may arise. The WiO solution not only includes television but also OOH, print and of all things -– direct mail. Jack Myers and I both independently decided a few years back to advise WiO and to invest in it.
Today, WiO has already been tested by advertisers who have been happily surprised at the qualities of the experience and the results. One such advertiser is Renewal by Andersen of Metro NY. The CMO, Marie Palumbo, kindly agreed to be interviewed about her ongoing experience with using WiO.
Bill: Marie, thanks for speaking with me. Can you describe how WiO works, in your use of it – let’s start with television.
Marie: It’s very simple, we’ve added WiO’s QR codes tied to WiO’s superfast and comprehensive back end. WiO was able to quickly arrange QR Codes for each media property we advertised on. A viewer who likes what he or she sees and hears about our products in a spot now has an immediate gratification option to use their phone to scan the QR code, to whatever the specific offer might be. We were then able to trackthe response from each media property instantly.
Bill: Was it time-consuming to set up?
Marie: No, it was amazingly easy, much quicker than what we’re used to when onboarding a new tech vendor, in fact almost effortless. It had no delaying effect in getting on air.
Bill: I take it WiO increased your conversions? Anything that makes it almost effortless to respond to an ad must lift outcomes.
Marie: WiO definitely lifted all our KPIs and we are very happy about that. That was our main interest in trying it out in the first place. However, we are equally happy to also be receiving other benefits too that we never expected.
Bill: What were those additional benefits?
Marie: To us, the most important thing is consumer choice. We want to provide the consumer with as much choice as possible, firstly in our products, and secondly in our ad experiences. Adding the QR code gives consumers another choice. We know from our data that people don’t enjoy using the phone that much nowadays, they would rather deal with robots than people, people add a frictional element. This is maybe sad to say but it is reality.
Bill: The social distancing of the pandemic seems to have added to the resistance, especially among the younger generations, in using the phone call function with people they don’t know. Kind of like an increase in agoraphobia.
Marie: Probably. But not only do we find that people appreciate the QR option and use it, we’re also finding that offering more choice, in the form of multiple QR codes, makes our ad experiences more positive for the audience. For example, in our direct mail we’re finding that offering three QR codes increases response.
Bill: What are the three choices in that instance?
Marie: Make a call, book an appointment themselves without needing to speak to anyone, or text us.
Bill: How does the product text work?
Marie: WiO created a dynamic text page that required us to have a disclaimer. When the viewer scanned the QR Code, we were immediately contacted by the viewer, which allowed us to get back to the viewer quickly. It was fast.
Bill: You had mentioned there were more benefits than expected, are there any others you’d care to talk about?
Marie: The backend is just brilliant, the amount of insight and data it provides is far beyond expectations. We had always avoided evening dayparts because of the cost, but WiO has shown us some dayparts that we’ve moved into with great success. The WiO daypart heat map gives us insights into where today’s business is coming from, which we can match up with a ton of other data. We can also see where we were getting impressions out of territory. WiO also picks up bonus spots which were always hard to track before.
Bill: Have we covered it all Marie?
Marie: Just one more thing, very important, worth mentioning. The amazing speed of getting insights. Learning every day. It’s life-changing. It changes everything to be able to see so quickly what is actually happening, especially with our TV campaigns.
Bill: Thanks so much Marie.
Marie: Thank you Bill.
I hadn’t wanted to bias Marie by telling her until after the interview that I’ve also been using WiO in my TV ads for my new sci-fi novelPandemonium: Live To All Devices.The preceding link will show you what the ad looks like with the WiO QR code in it. The optional WiO L-Frame also provided space in which to prepare the viewer for where to find the free first 50 pages offer when they land at the book’s Amazon Kindle page. The results were definitely boosted way over the norm.
This article also gives me the opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to the New York Interconnect for their tremendous support throughout the campaign. They were continuously leveraging their knowhow and vast data resources to find contexts that gave us the most effectiveness. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
To circle back to where we started, interactivity needs the most work, and WiO provides a quick, effective, affordable and painless solution for TV media that do not yet have enough interactivity built in. Give the audience the experience they will enjoy the most, and which ultimately enhance the response rate, benefit the advertiser the most and provide real-time instant TV data to optimize TV performance.
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