Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Red Button's Valuable Legacy

Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Red Button's Valuable Legacy

Article excerpt

The marketing director of a car company once told me he loved the 'clunkiness' of interactive TV because it meant consumers persistent enough to watch his red-button ads really wanted to buy.

His opinion was not shared by many, though; in an age of iPhones and 50Mb broadband, iTV looked like a redundant option for brand-owners.

With this is mind, last week Sky decided to pull the plug on its red-button service, nearly a decade after Unilever ran the first iTV commercial.

As we explore on page 15, the great time and expense associated with bringing a red-button ad to air were rarely outweighed by the benefits of allowing consumers to watch an extended version of the TV spot or book a test-drive.

It's no surprise, then, that Sky has called time on red-button ads. What is hard to believe, however, is that it has taken an organisation renowned for its commercial rigour so long to acknowledge that it has been flogging a dead horse.

Red-button advertising has been perceived as clunky ever since 56k modems were superseded. …

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