While the cable industry seems poised for a breakout this year with interactive TV, today Cablevision released some results from its interactive advertising initiative that launched last year.

Cablevision launched ad campaigns with Gillette, Benjamin Moore, Century 21, Halls and Colgate-Palmolive last fall under the brand name of Optimum Select. Each of these campaigns – which delivered samples and other promotional materials to viewers who requested the items by pushing the "SEL" button on their TV remote control when prompted during a 30-second commercial – were scheduled to run for two weeks but ended in an average of half the time due to high demand.

"The launch of Optimum Select has been a resounding success, marking a defining moment in interactive television," said David Kline, president of Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp., Cablevision and Rainbow Media's advertising sales unit. "Optimum Select is truly a universal interactive television product with benefits for advertisers of all sizes and all categories, including the ability to provide rich engagement metrics.

"We've recently begun working with local advertisers in the travel, tourism and health care industries on Optimum Select RFI campaigns and have seen comparable results. We are excited that consumers are engaged and interacting with Optimum Select on a regular basis with a broad range of advertisers as it clearly illustrates the many great opportunities to come."

The conversion rate for leads, with the initial Optimum Select RFI campaigns, increased from 40 percent to a high of more than 70 percent with the most recent Colgate-Palmolive campaign.

The conversion rate was defined as the percentage of consumers who, after pushing the "SEL" button in response to the commercial, completed the process by again pressing "SEL" to receive the specific item being offered.

Last month, Cablevision started the second phase of Optimum Select – called Optimum Select Content Saving – that provides the ability for consumers to save long-form video assets in response to a request for more information. The saved content will be available to consumers immediately and will be accessible from a consumer's personal Optimum Select folder. This folder is available from the main iO TV menu with the push of the iO button, as well as online at Cablevision’s Web site.

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