Nike Zoom invests in interactive TV

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Nike has stepped into the interactive television arena with a new campaign for the Nike Zoom footwear line. The integrated campaign is called "Quick is deadly." It includes print, broadcast and digital advertising and marks Nike's first foray into the interactive TV space.

The campaign is designed for athletes looking for a lower and more responsive cushioning system for, as Nike puts it, "that quick feel." The interactive TV medium not only invites viewers to spend more time in a branded space learning about the sneaker, it also lets the shoe manufacturer track the level of viewer engagement - in a way that has not been traditionally available on TV.

"Key viewer metrics that can be captured include the number of viewers who opted in to the experience, specific content they interacted with [through the digital interface], number of times they interacted with the content and whether they accessed the store locator," said Michele Bogdan, senior vice president of marketing of Ensequence, the technology provider that worked with Nike and Portland, OR,-based advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy on the campaign.

Viewers can navigate through the commercial to learn more about the product, watch additional footage and interact with 22 unique video clips. This element is available to Dish Network customers who have DVR receivers.

The campaign features professional athletes including football player LaDainian Tomlinson (LT), basketball player Steve Nash, runner Lauren Fleshman and Olympic sprinters Asafa Powell and Sanya Richards.

When a Dish Network customer sees the Nike Zoom ad on TV, an on-screen prompt invites him or her to "become LT." Users then can enter the interactive experience. The viewer is able to navigate through the interactive TV experience to learn Tomlinson's training moves and see him demonstrate them in action, play a game to test their quickness, learn more about the shoe and find local stores based on their geographical location. Viewers without DVRs are not able to see the additional video, but can access the game and graphics.

Print ads were also developed by Wieden & Kennedy. The broadcast element of the campaign includes 30- and 60-second television spots by director Michael Mann who has directed such films as Miami Vice and Heat.

The spots began airing on August 5, featuring Tomlinson in a game-like setting demonstrating the speed of game showcased by one of the world's greatest running backs. The 30-second version of the spot also began running in theaters starting August 10.

The direct TV market is growing with the Dish Network hosting more than 12 million total subscribers and Direct TV boasting more than 15 million at the last count in 2005, according to the firms' Web site. The growth of this market marks a new ability to measure consumer engagement, merging the intelligence of Web-like statistics with television. TV networks such as ESPN and Bravo are starting to incorporate interactive TV into their programming.

"TV will be almost unrecognizable in three to five years thanks to the onslaught of new TV technology developments like interactive TV," Bogdan added. "Advertisers are using interactive TV to enhance their campaigns, and there is a bigger opportunity emerging with interactive TV sponsorships. That's where we are really starting to see the dots connect as networks offer interactive TV programming that advertisers can sponsor."

The interactive TV element also gave the shoe advertiser the ability to serve up customized content and targeted messaging based on geographical location, so Wieden & Kennedy included a store locator feature as another mechanism to drive traffic to stores.

"It optimizes advertisers' existing TV investments by enhancing their current campaigns, and provides timely and measurable data to track and evaluate the success of campaigns, with immediate metrics that allow interactive TV campaigns to be fine-tuned based on consumer response," Bogdan added. "There is also the opportunity to optimize media plans and measure results for their TV investment beyond awareness and preference."

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