P&G to test interactive TV ads with C&W

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has joined forces with Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) to launch a research trial into interactive television advertising.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has joined forces with Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) to launch a research trial into interactive television advertising.

The consumer goods giant has created its first TV Internet site on the C&W digital cable platform, which currently has 70,000 subscribers in Manchester.

P&G has hired specialist ad agency Grey Interactive TV to create a Web-based questionnaire that viewers can access by clicking on a TV banner ad for P&G shampoo brand Pantene. The banner is on one of C&W’s TV menus.

Using the remote control, viewers answer questions on their lifestyle, hair type, name and address to receive a personalised haircare diagnosis and free Pantene sample.

They can also send a Pantene-branded postcard to a friend using TV e-mail.

The trial is part of P&G’s first attempts to learn more about interactive marketing and its usefulness for advertising brands and collecting consumer data. It stems from work carried out in France.

P&G European interactive marketing manager Rahul Chakkara says: “Pantene was chosen because everyone believes their hair is very individual, and consumers are always hungry for information in this category.”

Chakkara says: “There is a very interesting shift in power. Traditionally, we had more control over when and how consumers watch ads, but with interactive TV the consumer decides when, the speed and the extent.”

C&W manager of digital services Lee Fenton says the company plans to broadcast TV ad spots with clickable icons that lead to Web-based information by the second half of this year. The company is in talks over the appointment of a sales house to develop a ratecard for interactive ads.

Its digital TV platform is to be rolled out to other franchises, with 75 per cent coverage expected by the end of the year.

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