Time Warner Cable is rolling out such a service. Called “Promotions On Demand,” the new service will be available nationwide by the end of September. It’s available here in O.C., hidden as an on-demand channel – the Get it on Demand on channel 1308 on my TV. Most videos are just standard TV commercials (for restaurants, stores and services) and there are video tours of homes for sale. Plus, it’s collected segments of some local shows (Huell Howser rides the Metrolink train) into longer infomercials.
But the more potentially controversial feature is the coupons. Coupons on a TV, you ask? Yes. Sort of.
Watch the TV commercial and coupons will be mailed to your home whether you want them or not. It took me a few viewings of “Big O Tires” ad before I realized this. I thought the commercial was going to offer a phone number or Web site for me to ask for the 50 percent off oil change coupon but the commercial ends with something like “Just watch for these in your mailbox in the next few days.” I guess I’ll be getting a half dozen.
Of course, I also didn’t read the ad’s description before I hit play: ”Your personal information WILL NOT be shared with the advertiser” (Time Warner adds the all-caps).
What good can come of this?
Says Time Warner in a press release, “Advertisers now have a turn-key solution to focus on their most interested consumers.”
Joan Gillman, president of Time Warner Cable Media Sales, says, “When customers get marketing materials they really want and advertisers get customers who are interested in their offers, everybody wins.”
Big O Tires even chimes in: ”Promotions on Demand has proven to be one of the most successful response media programs for Big O Tires,” said J.C. Cordero, who works for the auto parts retailer’s advertising agency, Cordero & Davenport Advertising.
It does sound great for marketers. For consumers? Meh. Well, it’s better than raising our rates. Oh wait, they’re doing that, too. I’d much rather have the interactive feature Verizon FiOS just rolled out, which lets users click an ad for more information
For the coupons, the selection of restaurants and retailers is extremely limited and don’t seem to be unique deals. Nor are there many offers for Orange County subscribers. Maybe when it starts offering 50 percent coupons at Z’Tejas or discounts at Fry’s Electronics, I’ll tune in.
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