Live from New Technologies Good News

(Direct Newsline) New York–More changes have occurred in advertising in the past 36 months than had happened in the past 36 years, said David Verklin, CEO of media buying agency Carat North America. “The next 36 months will be equally important in shaping the new media landscape,” Verklin predicted at a luncheon address at the Direct Marketing Association’s conference.

One big change is that the U.S. is not leading the world in developing new technologies. For example, South Korea leads the world in broadband. Some 75% of South Korean households have broadband. For wireless, Finland is the leader.

Some of the new technologies that will benefit direct marketers include TV portals and interactive program guides. TV portals, which allow the viewer to click on banners or text messages on the screen, are currently in only 1.3 million U.S. households. But since the third-richest man in America, Paul Allen, owns a TV portal company, the area is expected to grow. “He wants to become the Yahoo of television,” Verklin said.

Interactive program guides, which Verklin admitted are not quite interactive, present a host of possibilities for marketers because the viewer could click through to get more information about ads they are interested in. The penetration for interactive program guides is about 44 million, he said.

Ad-supported video on demand (VOD) has a penetration of 10 million. Kraft is running recipe ads on VOD. Direct marketers should pay attention to this medium because it’s permission-based, and the “opportunity for long-form commercials is phenomenal,” Verklin said.

Four companies drive the addressability area, Verklin pointed out. Addressability is a digital technology that allows a marketer to target an ad down to the ZIP code level. “If you are marketing dog food, you can target ads only to people who have dogs,” he said. It’s available in 18 million homes.

Personal video recorders such as TiVo are available in 2.5 million households. Consumers could potentially push a button and learn something more about a product or area. Consumers can also bookmark an ad and come back to it later.

Broadband has reached 21 million households. “With broadband a consumer can run a video message and can click through and buy,” Verklin said.

Wireless technology is part of 154 million households. Japan leads the world in the marketing interactivity of this channel, Verklin said, but it’s a growth area for direct marketing. “People already have a phone in their hand,” he said.

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