B3TV, the interactive television company based in San Francisco, said it was pleased with results from its test campaign for Domino’s Pizza, which aired in August.
The test campaign allowed subscribers of Web TV, a device that connects a television to the Internet, to order pizza directly without picking up the phone.
The test, which included an offer for free pizza, aired during the Star Trek Next Generation Marathon on KBHK-TV, Channel 44, in the Bay Area.
“From our perspective, it was fabulous because it shows us that for the right offer people will click the ad and respond through their television,” said Todd Lash, vice president of marketing for B3TV. “What is significant about this is that people saw the commercial and just ordered. However, the novelty of interactive television and the offer for free pizzas may have skewed the results.”
The Bay Area has a designated market area of about 6.2 million television households. The marathon received an aggregate show reach of 10.6 percent over the course of the 12-hour marathon, which means 660,910 unique viewers tuned to KBHK during it.
However, 9,500 televisions in the region have WebTV Plus, so B3TV estimates approximately 800 viewers saw the interactive ads based on the 10.6 percent aggregate. Of the 800 viewers, 228 clicked on the ad and 140 orders were actually placed with Domino’s.
“I could probably push the numbers more in my favor, but then people would question how I got such a high response,” Lash said. “Going by the DMA is the best way to quantify our success.”
Domino’s said it was pleased with the results and is making plans to bring the technology to all of its stores so they will be able to receive and fulfill orders that are placed through interactive television.
“The whole idea is that the technology is moving forward and we are going to take this to the next level,” said Klara Farkas, a spokesperson for Domino’s. “We were glad we had the opportunity to give customers the chance to enter into a transaction through the television.”
In a survey that B3TV took after the test, it found that 87 percent of the viewers would rather place orders through interactive television than calling the pizzeria directly. The results of the survey are based on a 38 percent response by the viewers.
“The Domino’s ad also showed that when people see a commercial, they will act on an impulse,” Lash said.
“If we grease the skids, we can get them to move from desire to fulfillment. Our studies show that one out of every 20 will call for a pizza when they see an ad. However if we can get two out of 20 to order through the television then that’s a 100 percent increase.”
“The statement that is most frequently made is that nobody wants a $3,000 box just for ordering products,” Lash said. “But that is wrongheaded because there is more to offer television viewers than just buying products. The reason there have been so many false starts and failed tests in interactive television over the last 10 years is because companies are focusing on proprietary programming.”
Competition for proprietary interactive television standards still exist, but two distinct interactive languages have emerged as the front runners. Some companies are bringing the Java-based Web language to television and others have developed the advertising television enhanced forum (ATVEF).
“We are mostly about open standards,” Lash said. “The I in ITV is not just for interactive, it is also for Internet, and now that television programmers have e-commerce envy, they will become more apt to use Web technology to have a greater reach.”