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Winning votes with interactive TV

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It's a given that marketers – including politicians in election years – target precise messages to specific groups of consumers.

With that in mind, Time Warner Cable will give politicians, who will have a significant impact on TV ad spending next year to say the least, the option of targeting consumers by zones made up of ZIP codes and influenced by census data. The cable TV provider will also allow candidates to use its interactive technologies to ask consumers questions, said Joan Gillman, EVP and president of media sales at Time Warner Cable, in an interview with Direct Marketing News.

“It's better than a focus group,” she said.

Gillman added that while TWC is taking on broadcast networks with the technology, it's also providing an alternative to direct mail, which has historically been the politician's best hope for targeting voters at such granular levels. Interactive TV also has a big advantage in response time.

TV's becoming a more interactive media seemingly every week. Cablevision rolled out a tool in June that allows brands to tag their ads with email opt-ins, and industry consultants have said that Cox Communications and Dish Network both have addressable TV projects in the works.

As the campaign rhetoric heats up over the next 16 months, it's definitely worth keeping an eye on how both parties take advantage of interactive TV to target voters and their success in doing so.

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