April 22nd, 2009
TiVo Promotes Ads It Hopes You’ll Talk to, Not Zap
By Stephanie Clifford
The New York Times
The company that attacked television advertising is trying to resuscitate it. TiVo, which allows viewers to digitally record programs and fast-forward through ads, is trying to sell ad spaces on its screens.
In December, TiVo began offering ads that appear as a small piece of text when viewers pause a show. Advertisers can choose the specific show or genre they want their pause ad to appear on — Mercedes-Benz USA used it to promote a new car during football games earlier this year. TiVo also offers ads that appear when viewers fast-forward through shows. Advertisers that run regular 30- or 60-second spots can buy these, and when the viewer presses fast-forward, a static box appears. One for Tourism Australia shows a photograph of a girl on a beach with the text, exclaiming, “Don’t tell me I just skipped the Australia ad!” TiVo viewers are instructed to press the Thumbs Up button to see the ad and get more information.