Starting yesterday, Cox Communications got its first look at Canoe Ventures' request for information (RFI) interactive advertising platform during a trial run in its Tulsa system.
According to a story in today's Tulsa World, Cox is launching the pilot program in Tulsa to gauge subscribers' interest in interactive commercials. The RFI trial allows Cox digital customers to push a button on their remotes to go to a place with more information on products, or to request coupons.
"We're doing this as a trial," Bruce Berkinshaw, director of product management at Cox, said in the newspaper story. "We want to see how many self-select and click the ad. We want to see if this is something customers want to be targeted that way."
The RFI-enabled ads will run during regulary scheduled commercial breaks on seven channels, and the only two ads scheduled for the entire cable system for Tuesday aired early in the morning on AMC.
In May of last year, Canoe Ventures announced it had separate partner agreements with Comcast Networks, Discovery Communications, NBC Universal and Rainbow Media for RFI-based interactive advertising applications.
Canoe Ventures was formed in 2008 by the nation's six largest cable operators; Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks.
The RFI overlay, which uses templates that are based on CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF), allows customers to request more information, including coupons, product samples and additional information, during 30-second commercials.
An RFI campaign is created using a template that runs across all of Canoe's cable partners' systems, which allows the campaign to scale across multiple cable operators' footprints.
Cox and Canoe Ventures didn't respond to inquires about the trial by deadline this morning.
Tulsa World also reported that Cox has added some new features to its DVR service, which included a "fuel gauge" that lets subscribes know how much recording space is left on their DVRs, and a "lost and found" feature that allows them to access deleted shows shortly after they've been deleted.