There’s new technology out there — some of you already
have it in your own homes — that has the potential to revolutionize television.
It also could have as much power to revolutionize consumer goods advertising
as the invention of the television itself.
I’m talking about TiVo, and if you haven’t
looked into it, it’s only a matter of time before you do, according
to an educational session I attended at last month’s Information
Resources Inc. Reinventing CPG Summit in San Diego.
For those not yet on the bandwagon, TiVo is a digital
recording service that allows viewers to record their favorite programming
by title, actor’s name or a number of other keywords. TiVo
doesn’t require viewers to know the
time or the channel of the program they want to record, and even allows
customers to set up recording for an entire season of a program.
But the service’s most popular features are its
ability to pause live television, play things back in instant replay or
slow motion… and fast-forward through commercials. And therein lies
the challenge for all consumer goods companies that currently pitch their
products on TV.
According to conference speakers, 20 million U.S.
households are expected to have TiVo by 2006. That’s 20 million
affluent, tuned-into-trends households — the average income in a TiVo
home is $100,000, and 80 percent use broadband services — that
theoretically could be lost by traditional commercial advertising.
Seventy percent of programs watched by TiVo users are
recorded, with dramas and sitcoms topping the list. The least likely shows
to be TiVo’d are sports, special events and reality shows because of
the "water-cooler" effect — viewers want to be able to talk
about the show with their friends and co-workers the next day.
Digital recording does have unique promotional
opportunities that companies such as Coca-Cola already are taking advantage
of, according to the speakers at the conference. They cited a
Coca-Cola-sponsored music program called Sound Check, of which the company
was the sole advertiser and was able to blend advertising and program
Because TiVo is able to
monitor what viewers are watching, when and how they are watching it (in
aggregate terms; the company says no one is watching individual
households), it says it may be able to provide a more measurable return on
investment and ability to generate response than traditional TV
So keep your eye on this new service, it’s not just a
"techie" trend, and it might change the way you talk to your consumers.
I want to make it clear on my first foray into foreign
territory, that I’d much rather leave the editorializing to our
resident experts, Sarah Theodore and Jamie Popp. That said, I’m
pleased to introduce the newest member of the Beverage
Industry staff, Bruce Klion. Yes, that Bruce Klion. The same
Bruce Klion who has been involved in this unique industry we call beverage
for over 18 years. As many of you may already know, Bruce spent 16 years
with another publication and the last two years at Beverage Marketing
Corp.’s Consulting and Information Services Groups as vice president
of business development.
Bruce brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Beverage Industry, the same
knowledge and experience that will assist us in delivering even more
innovative, informative, and valuable insights to the beverage marketplace.