Zip Television’s interactive TV study identifies which programmes will attract new digital interacto

From: Zip Television
Published: Fri Jul 22 2005

Zip Television announces today the first findings from its extensive interactive TV study: Passive2Active: Extending the reach of interactivity on TV ( It is a follow-up study to previous Zip research which proves how interactive ad campaigns shift brand awareness and equity. The new study examines viewers that are not interacting at the moment, detailing how this potential interactive audience can be encouraged to press the red button.

Of the viewers not currently interacting: 30% of potential advertising interactors, dubbed ‘Unimpressed Pragmatists’ are not pressing the red button because there are too few incentives. A further 22%, referred to as ‘Apprehensive Stargazers’, are too daunted by the prospect to interact with an ad. It highlights a golden opportunity for broadcasters and platforms to entice potential interactors to maximise red button response and increase interactive TV’s (iTV) ROI.

Extensive interactive TV study
Zip TV’s study is the first of three stages of extensive research on IA (interactive TV advertising) interactors versus non-IA interactors, involving the BBC, advertisers and fieldwork by Continental Research. According to Continental Research there is an estimated 12.7 million* strong Sky digital audience who have bypassed interactive advertising in the last 12 months. Zip TV’s research shows that non IA interactors are not only ignoring the red button on IAs, but other interactive services on Sky Digital as well.

The future of interactive programming
Emma Seymour, Research Director at Zip Television (, says: "We divided viewers into five sub groups to identify their demographics, attitudes and preferred programme genres. There was a broad spectrum of interactor types, ranging from out-and-out rejectors (‘Bitter Ad Haters’), through ‘Unengaged Passives’, to strong interactor acceptors (‘Dedicated Interacters’). But it was ‘Unimpressed Pragmatists’ and ‘Apprehensive Stargazers’ that represented the greatest potential to press red - given the right targeting and messaging."
The research revealed ‘Unimpressed Pragmatists’ as liking documentaries and sport’s programmes, preferring to watch Sky Movies, Sky Sports and Paramount. ‘Apprehensive Stargazers’, on the other hand, favoured films and quiz shows, and were more likely to watch Channel 5, UK Gold, and Hallmark.

For many potential interactors, the novelty of pressing red is wearing thin. One non-IA interactor interviewee said: "I’ve survived without pressing red for this long, why start now?" Others are so used to seeing the red button on screen, it is considered to be wallpaper, "You get so used to seeing the red button, that I forget it’s there."

Emma Somerville, BBC’s Head of Interactive Programming, believes that broadcasters must take a lead in educating potential users. "The BBC has a major role to play in educating audiences and the industry as to the benefits of Interactive TV. We know we have managed to reach a huge number of people through our red button services - let's not forget that the UK leads the world in interactive TV. However, we are also aware that there are still audiences who are not willing to interact - understanding why they do not want to join in is the first step in broadening our reach further."

Broadcasters to educate
Broadcasters need to overcome a number of barriers to increase interaction. Research indicates that ‘Apprehensive Stargazers’ believe IA will cost them money and takes too much time, they also find it difficult to tell if an advert is interactive. To overcome this, broadcasters must inform viewers of what to expect when they press red and have clearer calls to action. For ‘Apprehensive Stargazer’ types ‘celebrities’, ‘competitions’ and ‘freebies’ are seen as a trigger for interacting. For ‘Unimpressed Pragmatists’, however, a more sophisticated approach is needed. The call to action should be integrated with the linear advert, making it central to the narrative.

Mark Connolly, Head of Interactivity at ids, says: "As broadcasters, we must make it as easy as possible for viewers to press the red button. Familiarity with interactive services is paramount to driving usage. If a viewer interacts once they are more likely to press red again because the element of doubt has been lifted. It will bring a new audience to interactive advertising and boost potential earnings of commercial TV."
Passive2Active: Extending the reach of interactivity on TV ( contains an intimate knowledge of the demographics, behaviour and attitudes of interactive clusters. It has been developed to allow broadcasters and platforms to maximise the response and return of interactive advertising as it evolves and grows. The research is available at: …ends/

Editors notes
* Source: Continental Research Digital TV report
Analysis and features
Full details on different clusters plus a range of specially designed illustrations are available for feature and analysis pieces.
Appendix: Methodology
The study was completed in 3 stages:

Stage 1
Brainstorms with iTV knowledge holders (included Continental Research, advertisers, BBC and Professor Duane Varan – Interactive Television Research Institute) were held to determine possible viewer attitudes towards interactive advertising (IA) and establish key variables to measure for in Stage 2.

Stage 2
This involved a quantitative assessment to identify non IA groups – who they are (attitudinal/behavioural), likely involvement and possible hooks.
• 402 telephone interviews took place with Sky Digital viewers:
• 302 were non interactors (classified as not interacted with an interactive ad in the last 12 months and unlikely to interact in the next 6 months).
• A control group of 100 interactors were also included (classified as interacted with an interactive ad in the last 12 months and likely to interact again in the next 6 months).

Zip TV employed Continental Research to carry out the survey and the fieldwork took place from 24th to 29th November 2004.

Stage 3
The final stage was a qualitative assessment among the most promising clusters identified in Stage 2. This enabled Zip TV to explore opinions towards IA further, test creative solutions and identify key drivers for pressing red. The research was conducted by 8 x 2 hour focus groups with 5 respondents in each, in both the North and South of England. Fieldwork took place during February 2005.

About Zip Television
Zip Television specialises in the creation and measurement of new TV advertising models in a changing digital and interactive TV landscape. The company is shaping the future of television by developing new products and services that benefit its clients and support the growth of the industry.

Zip TV has a detailed working knowledge of the digital and iTV landscape in the UK, forming partnerships with the major broadcasters and digital platforms. The team’s skills are founded on years of interactive media and creative experience, combined with data planning and analysis.

Zip TV’s client base represents 40% of the TV advertising spend of the top 50 UK advertisers and includes: Honda, Orange, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, BT, Gillette, Masterfoods, Daimler Chrysler and UIP. These advertisers are taking an active role in the evolution of the TV advertising industry, sharing insight and learning to exploit the brand opportunities that digital and interactive TV provides.
For further information, please contact:
Matthew Leach
Immediate Future Ltd
Tel: 0845 408 2031

Company: Zip Television
Contact Name: Matthew Leach
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 0845 408 2031

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