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How LG is reinventing TV advertising

How LG is reinventing TV advertising Wendell Wenjen

LG's Live Plus technology is enabling interactive commercials

LG is clearly one of the biggest leaders when it comes to the development of smart TVs. What is a smart TV? It's a television that incorporates interactive technology to allow consumers to become participants in their content experience, not just viewers. Over the past four years, LG has been rolling out smart TVs with motion-activated controllers, which work much like Wii controllers. Consumers are able to direct action in a much more interactive style. There are also a number of video applications, making live TV a second or third screen experience.

Perhaps the most exciting innovation for marketers that has rolled out has been an LG technology called Live Plus. This service is changing the way advertisers and content creators approach television advertising. Live Plus is a service that allows marketers to deliver static TV ads and information about products displayed in TV shows. For example, if a consumer is watching a TV show that features a laptop, Live Plus displays product information on that laptop right on screen. Consumers can click on ads or request more product information by using the interactive motion-activated remote. LG's strategy, from the creation of new smart TVs to the integrations within them, is centered on finding a better way to reach viewers through advertising.

No one knows the inner workings of LG's smart TV future plans like Wendell Wenjen, director of smart TV ads and interactive TV platforms at LG. He speaks to Crowdtap's Ian Tenenbaum about Live Plus and why it is opening up so many possibilities for marketers.

Consumer blowback: Walking the line between helpful and annoying

For many consumers, the idea of being "interrupted" during the viewing experience for more advertising seems like a very annoying prospect. It's a concern that LG takes seriously. After all, what would be the point of creating new smart TVs if consumers don't buy them for fear of being constantly bombarded with ads?

LG solves this problem by giving the consumers the power. Viewers can opt out of the whole service by simply adjusting a setting on the smart TV. This deactivates the process and is also easy to turn back on if they change their minds. Additionally, consumers need to opt in to every show to get the interactive experience in the first place. Basically, if consumers do not want to partake in this new form of ad delivery, there's nothing they need to do. Opt-in is one of the most powerful ways to make the consumer feel in control.

Showtime has also partnered with LG to incorporate a new way to deliver program promotion. SHO Sync is an app which is automatically available on LG smart TVs and provides the viewer with character information, additional content, and most importantly, programming reminders. This is an opt-out service. However, the opt-out rate is lower than 0.2 percent. It's metrics like this that are showing marketers that giving power to consumers, as well as helpful messaging, is palatable to the general public.

Wendell Wenjen continues our conversation by explaining how LG manages to keep customers happy by empowering their ad serving choices. He is also joined by Claudio Marcus, executive VP of marketing and research at Visble World, about its work with Showtime to produce an informative and engaging companion app for shows.

Showtime's SHO Synch app: Program promotion as simple reminders

Smart TVs are changing the way we currently define television. Traditionally, we have seen television as a single screen experience -- a device we turn on and turn off, with a single purpose. However, smart TVs and the native integration of video apps on existing TVs are changing the way we interact with entertainment. Consumers are already familiar with video apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Crackle, as well as mobile apps such as HBO GO. Showtime is trying to bridge the two worlds by creating a TV native video app centered on its network. SHO Synch is an app that LG has already started to integrate into its line of smart TVs. Among the various services that it provides for consumers (extra content about shows, character and plot information, etc.), it gives the viewer reminders of when a program will air. This simple and helpful tool is also providing meaningful audience analytics for both Visible World and Showtime.

Claudio Marcus from Visible World speaks about this innovative app integration and the surprisingly low opt-out rate from viewers.

Article written by David Zaleski.

Videos edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.

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"ON THREE" via Shutterstock.

Wendell Wenjen is director of Smart TV Advertising and Interactive TV Platforms for LG Electronics. Since joining LG in 2010, he has been responsible for strategy, business development, and partnerships for LG’s U.S. Smart TV advertising and...

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