Spotlight conversation with Jacquie Corbelli, CEO of Brightline

Q: What are some factors driving the growth of digital TV advertising?

A: Digital TV will be in all homes by 2009, so providers are moving more quickly to deploy digital set-top boxes in consumers’ homes, and TV viewers are becoming more in tune with ma­nipulating their remote control So, TV advertisers are really interested in see­ing how can they harness its potential. The need and urgency that advertisers have in terms of lifting the effectiveness of TV advertising and trying to work out the integrated interactive advertis­ing strategy is also driving its growth.

Q: What role is TV playing in the digital interactive marketplace?

A: People are starting to realize that TV advertising isn’t going away, it’s being reborn through new technologies. Its effectiveness is growing significantly because people are finally starting to understand that they can be account­able for the TV advertising in a way that they never could [before] and are recognizing how to get more efficiency from the platform.

Q: How does digital advertising fit into an overall interactive plan?

A: When companies are given the full potential of exploring interactive TV, they often find their click-through rates are dramatically higher and their cost per click is much lower compared to online. Leaders in digital TV are at the nexus between making advertising more effective and efficient and getting back what they thought they lost in TV — a way to truly connect with people, rather than have them ignore the ad messaging.

Advertisers are getting involved in designing custom consumer experiences that go beyond what one could buy off the shelf from a cable provider. It’s forcing a very fragmented, disparate spread of technologies to come together and serve the advertiser in a way that they can be effective in the space. A high click-though rate doesn’t come from a vanilla sponsor­ship on a video on-demand channel, but from figuring out how consumers can encounter a message in a way that is completely natural to what they were doing when they see it, and making it interesting enough so they notice.

Q: Is measurement different in digital TV vs. online?

A: There’s tremendous overlap in the terminology, but the definitions are evolving and becoming more broadly interpreted. It’s a struggle because online is a little bit of a traditional medium, like TV. What’s developing is the idea of digital TV and mobile channels as interactive. You need a strategy across these platforms; it’s about how you use them all in order to lift the impact and effectiveness of your campaigns.

Q: What are the challenges for digital TV advertisers?

A: Advertisers are struggling between getting what they need at the table in terms of input and guidance vs. getting as much as they can from the people already at the table. The challenge is understanding that there are limitations in what advertisers can get from most traditional partners by the way of true guidance.

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