Cablevision Systems said today it would launch a new interactive advertising platform that lets viewers dig deeper for additional information on products that are being advertised by pressing “select” on their remote controls.

The service is called “Optimum Select” and it was developed in-house by Cablevision. Cablevision said Optimum Select would go live early next month across its entire base of nearly 3 million digital subscribers in the New York metropolitan area.

With the service, Cablevision subscribes can request more information about a product or service, including a free sample or coupon, access to long-form content and other benefits.

“Consumers are inherently curious, and Optimum Select provides a fast and simple way for our customers to learn about new products and services and get more from their television,” said Gemma Toner, Cablevision’s senior vice president of marketing and business development. “This is all about giving consumers the ability to explore more content, realize more savings and have more fun while creating a deeper and more meaningful viewing experience.”

Cablevision’s research said that while customers wanted more from their TV experiences, they were also skeptical about interactive TV since it has been discussed for years without any real meaningful traction. On that note, Cablevision has made Optimum Select simple to use, and its features include:

  • A Select button overlay at the bottom of the screen will appear during a commercial, inviting the consumer to press “select” for more information.
  • Once the consumer presses “select,” the current program is shifted to the top right corner of the screen to allow for continued viewing.
  • Several options may appear, including the ability to “submit” and receive a free sample of the product, coupon or additional product information. The choices depend on the specific campaign and advertiser.
  • Once the consumer selects “submit,” the sample, coupon or product information will be mailed right to the consumer’s home using the address that corresponds with the customer’s account. 

“The beauty of Optimum Select is that the consumer owns the interaction with the service, and after just a few short steps, consumers will receive coupons or free samples, mailed directly to their home,” said Toner. “This research informed our marketing strategy to roll out a sequenced introduction of Optimum Select’s features to Cablevision’s customer base to best achieve understanding of what Optimum Select has to offer and encourage participation.

“The service will launch with Optimum Select RFI, the Request for Information feature of Optimum Select, and will roll out additional features over the next 12 months as consumers become more familiar with the service, including the ability for consumers to save content and eventually make purchases, all at the press of a button.”

Cablevision will also roll out Optimum Select Content Saving, which will provide the ability to save video-on-demand content, such as a full-length movie trailer. The saved content will be available to consumers immediately and will be accessible from a consumer’s personal Optimum Select folder. Eventually customers will be able to make purchases directly through Optimum Select Commerce.

For more information about advanced and interactive cable advertising, read The Wall Street Journal’s report.

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