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Press Release Category Home - Consumer Information - immediate future Limited Release Date: July 22, 2005

Zip Television's interactive TV study identifies which programmes will attract new digital interactors

By immediate future Limited
July 22, 2005
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Broadcasters and platforms can maximise red button response and iTV ROI with Zip TV's extensive interactive TV research report: "Passive2Active"

PR9.NET July 22, 2005 - Zip Television announces today the first findings from its extensive interactive TV study: Passive2Active: Extending the reach of interactivity on TV ( It is a follow-up study to previous Zip research which proves how interactive ad campaigns shift brand awareness and equity. The new study examines viewers that are not interacting at the moment, detailing how this potential interactive audience can be encouraged to press the red button.

Of the viewers not currently interacting: 30% of potential advertising interactors, dubbed 'Unimpressed Pragmatists' are not pressing the red button because there are too few incentives. A further 22%, referred to as 'Apprehensive Stargazers', are too daunted by the prospect to interact with an ad. It highlights a golden opportunity for broadcasters and platforms to entice potential interactors to maximise red button response and increase interactive TV's (iTV) ROI.

Zip TV's study is the first of three stages of extensive research on IA (interactive TV advertising) interactors versus non-IA interactors, involving the BBC, advertisers and fieldwork by Continental Research. According to Continental Research there is an estimated 12.7 million* strong Sky digital audience who have bypassed interactive advertising in the last 12 months. Zip TV's research shows that non IA interactors are not only ignoring the red button on IAs, but other interactive services on Sky Digital as well.

Emma Seymour, Research Director at Zip Television (, says: "We divided viewers into five sub groups to identify their demographics, attitudes and preferred programme genres. There was a broad spectrum of interactor types, ranging from out-and-out rejectors ('Bitter Ad Haters'), through 'Unengaged Passives', to strong interactor acceptors ('Dedicated Interacters'). But it was 'Unimpressed Pragmatists' and 'Apprehensive Stargazers' that represented the greatest potential to press red - given the right targeting and messaging."
The research revealed 'Unimpressed Pragmatists' as liking documentaries and sport's programmes, preferring to watch Sky Movies, Sky Sports and Paramount. 'Apprehensive Stargazers', on the other hand, favoured films and quiz shows, and were more likely to watch Channel 5, UK Gold, and Hallmark.

For many potential interactors, the novelty of pressing red is wearing thin. One non-IA interactor interviewee said: "I've survived without pressing red for this long, why start now?" Others are so used to seeing the red button on screen, it is considered to be wallpaper, "You get so used to seeing the red button, that I forget it's there."

Emma Somerville, BBC's Head of Interactive Programming, believes that broadcasters must take a lead in educating potential users. "The BBC has a major role to play in educating audiences and the industry as to the benefits of Interactive TV. We know we have managed to reach a huge number of people through our red button services - let's not forget that the UK leads the world in interactive TV. However, we are also aware that there are still audiences who are not willing to interact - understanding why they do not want to join in is the first step in broadening our reach further."

Broadcasters need to overcome a number of barriers to increase interaction. Research indicates that 'Apprehensive Stargazers' believe IA will cost them money and takes too much time, they also find it difficult to tell if an advert is interactive. To overcome this, broadcasters must inform viewers of what to expect when they press red and have clearer calls to action. For 'Apprehensive Stargazer' types 'celebrities', 'competitions' and 'freebies' are seen as a trigger for interacting. For 'Unimpressed Pragmatists', however, a more sophisticated approach is needed. The call to action should be integrated with the linear advert, making it central to the narrative.

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About immediate future Limited

immediate future Ltd is an independent public relations (PR) and communications consultancy, specialising in media, creative and digital industries. The team is highly experienced in both corporate and business-to-business PR. We have a proven track record with clients ranging from public and private companies, to 'not for profit' organisations.

The company is founded on three core principles: in- depth industry knowledge, professional standards and accountability. We use these foundations to deliver a holistic approach to reputation management with proactive and creative PR strategies, trusted on- and off-line media relations, and a vast array of PR tactics. The result is high-quality public relations that makes our clients’ lives easier and brings real business benefit.

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