Turner Goes Interactive

Mercedes gets new online campaign

Turner Media Group, which operates the Dish Network's home-shopping networks and is the third-party representative for Dish Network ad sales, recently completed an interactive-style campaign for Mercedes-Benz. It lets viewers click on-screen triggers to view information and order brochures. TMG COO David Rudnick discussed interactive advertising with B&C's Ken Kerschbaumer.

If people can get ads relevant to them, will they give TV advertisers access to household information?

It's a very sensitive issue. The types of campaigns we're doing don't involve profiling or engage in anything that can upset the privacy balance. We want the consumer to have a lean-back experience. If they do engage, it's an opt-in environment. We're not planning campaigns that need to know the purchasing habits. We're just trying to get the agencies and advertisers shifted into a new format of advertising. The goal is to create a one-to-one advertising experience.

Any one-to-one ad experiences now?

There are some trials going on. The technology exists on a small scale to do proof of concept. The problem is, in the general advertising and programming world, it hasn't been done enough to let people do it in scale.

Will that change the way ads are sent?

Yes. But you have to shift an entire industry. It isn't ready. We work with an agency that has a client with two other agencies. It takes a year or two for the creative house to plan the spot. Now, instead of one spot, it may be eight targeted spots. The budget and return on investment aren't there yet.

But if it works, won't the ROI be there?

Only if the systems are there in scale. And they aren't. The idea of what we're doing in the Dish environment is enough scale to do our integrated-transactional media. That will set the tone for getting transactional programmers or advertisers to shift more dollars into that medium.