Starting in the middle of this month, Comcast Spotlight debuted “Video Circulars On Demand” in order to help large retailers connect with customers over the holiday season.
Comcast Spotlight, the ad sales division of Comcast, said Comcast digital customers can browse video circulars to find out information on sales items that were traditionally featured in printed newspaper inserts.
A spokesman for Comcast Spotlight said the platform for the VOD circulars is the same one that it's been using for job listings on-demand via Monster.com and for other offerings such as real estate and auto listings.
The VOD circulars are available across Comcast’s entire footprint with Target, Office Max, Brookstone, Yankee Candle, and Drs. Foster & Smith signed on for the service.
Rite Aid is also taking part, but it's not available in all of Comcast’s markets because Comcast’s footprints don’t totally overlap, according to the spokesman. Rite Aid is in Philadelphia; Boston; San Francisco; Seattle; Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Denver; Baltimore; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Fresno, Monterey and Sacramento, Calif.; Springfield, Mass.; and Lansing, Mich.
Target is scheduled to go live this weekend, while the rest of the companies are live now.
By selecting channel 887 on their remote controls, customers are directed to the “On Demand Shopping” category, where they can see the latest sale information from the stores and retailers. Customers also can select “Searchlight” from the main on-demand menu to go to the shopping category.
Since the circulars are in the VOD tier, customers have full trick play functionality that lets them fast-forward, rewind and pause the videos. The service displays the featured items and then directs customers to either retailer Web sites or phone numbers for the actual purchases.
“Updating the classic sales circular for TV is a natural evolution,” said Kevin Smith, vice president of digital media for Comcast Spotlight. “For retailers, Video Circulars On Demand are a tool to expand their reach to customers who are watching more and more video. For consumers, it’s another option for finding the items they’re looking for, from the comfort and convenience of their own homes.”
For retailers, the turnkey process provides an opportunity to get in front of about 17 million U.S. homes across more than 60 markets, including 17 of the top 25.
VOD Circulars are part of Comcast Spotlight’s On Demand Publishing platform.
Comcast Spotlight said it will be promoting the Video Circulars in a series of 30-second commercials airing throughout its footprint, and in banner advertisements featured on the company’s i-Guide interactive programming guide.