ITV to let users skip VOD ads if they answer quiz questions

ITV is set to launch a new ad format on its video on demand (VOD) service ITV Player that allows users to skip ads if they correctly answer questions based on the brand or product in the spot.

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ITV’s The Only Way is Essex

The broadcaster trialled the format “behind closed doors” with Kellogg and LG this year and is now speaking to clients about launching it publicly.

Speaking at the AOP Digital Publishing Summit in London Fru Hazlitt, managing director of commercial and online at ITV, said the data collected by the advertisers involved in the trial - such as how many people correctly guessed the amount of calories contained within a Special K bar - was “informative and helpful” for the brands.

“VOD advertising opens up massive commercial opportunities for the broadcaster and advertisers. This [shift from linear TV to VOD and other multiplatform formats] is not about the car replacing the horse, it’s about complementary stuff…multiplatform has presented us with an enormous opportunity,” she added.

Hazlitt said ITV Player reached 1 billion impressions in 2010, up 60% year on year. The number of views in the last three weeks has increased up to 90%, due to the return of The Only Way is Essex.

She admitted that ITV Player had been “behind the curve”, in comparison with the BBC iPlayer, but the broadcaster now has a renewed focus on multi-platform.

Hazlitt said: “ITV previously lagged behind, partly to do with not being confident that these [digital platforms] are opportunities not threats. You will see us embrace [multi-platform] in a very commercially focused way.”

There are “substantial opportunities” beyond the core TV advertising model, including e-commerce, gaming and viewers paying for content directly, she said.

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