Let me just log in to my TV – woops forgot my password, no MOTD for me tonight

Tuesday saw a motley crew from PHD head to Decipher’s iBurbia studios in Chiswick, passing Dara O’Briain on the High Street – we must be in tele-land!

ITV-new-logoKindly organised by ITV, we were immersed for an afternoon in the Living Room of Dreams, containing every piece of equipment known to man. Nigel Walley, MD of Decipher, was an engaging chap, full of the joys of TV. It is understandably difficult to condense his whole session down into a bite-sized blog post, so here are just a few of the most pertinent things I learnt;

–          We were world leaders in pressing the red button to interact with ads. This is now old school but interesting nonetheless.

–          Sky Adsmart, hitting the shelves in 2013, does genuinely sound like the future of TV. By using all the data Sky holds on you, it can substitute normal broadcast adverts with different ones more tailored to your needs, whilst you are still watching live. Basically what they do via Sky Go currently, but through live TV. If it sounds a bit too 1984 then you can opt out here

–          TiVo looks damn sexy when compared to any other PVR interface. And it is clever to boot. The data that it will gather over time can surely be utilised much better than it is at present. If I have Top Gear on series record, chances are that an ad for Clarkson’s latest book of right-wing nonsense will be well placed in front of my face.

–          TiVo learns what you like and what you dislike. You’re encouraged to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to different programmes. However, if other household members give ratings that contradict yours, then the poor box is forever chasing its tail.

–          Despite the introduction of TiVo, Virgin’s subscriptions are actually down YOY, by around 30,000. It remains in around 3 million homes, against Sky’s 10 million.

–          We were given an update on YouView; “There is no update on YouView”. YouView was derided; it seems no one trusts the people behind it to ever deliver the product to market.

We were left with an interesting thought. TVs will become a battle of operating systems. Forget Sky, or Virgin (they will merely be one of several apps on your box) it is a three way battle between Google, Apple and Windows.

Do you have a Google ID? Do you have an Apple ID? Do you have a Windows ID?

Most people have at least two of the above. Phone talks to tablet chatting to laptop nattering with TV. Four screens will be the norm, in one beautifully fluid user experience.

There was then a quick cheeky presentation from Jon Block, ITVs Head of Commercial Innovation, who talked about several things, three of which stood out;

–          Emmerdale characters are now ‘living’ on social media. You can check out their lives on Facebook and Twitter, see exclusive content in between shows and goggle at their latest night out pictures.

–          Jon exclusively showed us the beta of an ad tool for VOD (Ad Save), which allows a ‘save offer for later’ button to appear on an ad. This allows someone to interact with ads without interrupting their viewing experience. Once the programme is over, they will be presented with a basket of all the things they have interacted with during that programme, and choose which offers/promotions/links they want to use, and which to discard.

–          Another clever idea (Ad Play) encompassed a VOD ad which posed a question to the consumer, related to the brand/product. The idea is that if you click the correct answer you get to skip the ad, if you get it wrong you don’t. The really clever bit is that the answer to the question will generally be alluded to in the ad itself, so the consumer ‘learns’ the answer after they have seen the ad a few times. Who said ads weren’t educational?

Thanks very much to Neil Bonley from ITV, who hosted the whole day (and the pub after!).

Posted by James Williams | Media Planner

@jameswilliams8

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