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Digital TV advertising can be interactive or subtle. Cable and digital television providers may integrate advertising into programming menus or products could be placed as props that the characters of TV shows encounter in a few scenes. Reaching targeted groups of consumers through special interest channels, such as independent films, is another form of digital TV advertising. The majoritity of ads directly involve consumers by allowing them to seek out more information or purchase the product through their remotes.
One of the emerging forms of digital TV advertising is the insertion of media that gives consumers information about products. When subscribers search through programming guides and movies or television shows that can be played on a demand basis, they may see a selection for products. Some of these products may be what marketers consider "high involvement." They typically require more thought, planning and research before the consumer is ready to commit to a purchase.
Examples of "high involvement" purchases include cars, houses, high-end jewelry and electronics. With digital TV advertising that is incorporated into a programming menu, consumers are taken into an interactive viewing experience about the product. They may be able to find out in-depth information about the features of the product. Consumers can also witness the product being used and have instant access to vendors that can sell the product to them.
For example, if a consumer views information about a car, he may have the choice to schedule a test drive appointment with a local dealer through this form of digital TV advertising. Another similar form of advertising is the idea of special interest channels. These channels are often a part of a cable television provider's interactive programming menu. Channels dedicated to local real estate listings, job opportunities and niche interests are some examples.
With this type of advertising, the consumer chooses to watch or interact with the information on the channel. If the consumer is looking for a house, he might pull up the channel and then sort through a selection of available listings by neighborhood section. As the viewer selects individual listings, he gets a virtual tour of each house, pricing and feature information. With a click of his remote, he may be able to schedule an appointment with the realtor handling the sale.
A more common form of digital TV advertising is product placement within television shows and on-demand movies. Characters may drive a certain brand of car, wear brand-specific clothing or use a certain type of cellular phone. In order to be prevalent without being intrusive, several characters in one show may use various versions of the same brand. For example, one character may eat pretzels and another may eat potato chips manufactured by the same company.