The cable industry has announced ExpandTV, a consumer-facing brand to signal to viewers when an ad or promotion is expandable, i.e., interactive.
The idea is to increase viewer engagement in what is traditionally a passive environment: living room television isn't known for its "lean-in" aspects. However, a study last year by Canoe Ventures--maker of the technology behnd ExpandTV--found that 82 percent of viewers said they would like to be exposed to interactive advertising. And down the line, other forms of interactive TV could include live sports, news and weather updates, or ordering food from a local takeout place. Viewers can also opt out of an interactive experience with one click of their remotes.
The ability to alert subscribers to interactive opportunities to learn more about a product, service or piece of content through the remote is a relatively new one, but a number of heavyweights have gotten behind the effort. The Cabletelevison Advertising Bureau, CableLabs and CTAM, along with operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks are all supporting the technology.
Interactive TV could take place through Canoe Ventures' EBIF-based RFI campaign or through the polling and trivia products that it will launch later this year, but ExpandTV is a standard brand that could be used to signal that any program or ad is interactive. ExpandTV was previously known as SelecTV and has been used internally by organizations such as CableLabs and CTAM, but the subscriber-facing general branding effort is new. A preview of brand guidelines and user interface implementation guidelines are available on the ExpandTV Web site. While the current guidelines are in "non-production-intent" form, version 1.0 of the guidelines will be published, and a free licensing agreement will be available for use on the Web site later this summer.