ExpandTV: Interactive TV gets new brand
Various entities in the cable industry have put their weight behind a new branding effort for interactive TV, which will help consumers key in on interactive opportunities.
If interactive advertising is your business, branding your product is a top priority, which is why Canoe Ventures is helping to spread the word on a new consumer-facing effort under the moniker of "ExpandTV." The Cabletelevison Advertising Bureau, CableLabs and CTAM – as well as Canoe Ventures backers Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks – are also supporting ExpandTV.
ExpandTV, which was previously known as SelecTV, has been used internally by organizations such as CableLabs and CTAM, but last week at The Cable Show was the first time promotional materials were made available to the public via Canoe Ventures' booth at McCormick Place. The ExpandTV website  was also launched in tandem with The Cable Show.
Interactive TV could take place through Canoe Ventures' EBIF-based RFI campaign or through the polling and trivia products that it will launch later this year, but ExpandTV is a standard brand that could be used to signal that any program or ad is interactive. Other forms of interactive TV could include sports, news and weather updates, or ordering food from a local pizza store.
David Grabert, Canoe Venture's vice president of marketing communications, said that the ExpandTV brand could be used on either side of a TV screen – similar to how HD branding is used – to indicate that there are interactive opportunities within a program.
Currently, ExpandTV is a brand designed for use by both advertisers and programmers. It can sit alongside other brands and content to signal that a deeper interactive experience is available to the viewer by using their remotes. Viewers can also opt out of an interactive experience with one click of their remotes.
A preview of brand guidelines and user interface implementation guidelines are available on the ExpandTV website. While the current guidelines are in "non-production-intent" form, version 1.0 of the guidelines will be published, and a free licensing agreement will be available for use on the website later this summer.
A study last year by Canoe Ventures found that 82 percent of viewers said they would like to be exposed to interactive advertising.