Lexus, Tivo rev ad effect

Car co. signs up for Ipreview on-screen prompts

Lexus is going interactive with its advertising through TiVo.

The luxury automobile manufacturer will announce today that it has joined digital video recording company TiVo’s charter advertising program. Move follows a successful test in February of viewer response to on-screen prompts during Lexus commercials.

This summer TiVo expects to introduce its long-planned strategy of offering advertisers the technology to allow consumers to select commercials and longer promotional messages tailored to their specific interests.

Until now, primarily broadcast and TV networks have utilized the TiVo technology called Ipreview, which creates a pop-up icon during a program or advertisement prompting viewers to respond via a click on the remote control. The feature, as currently designed, gives viewers the option of setting the machine to record whatever program is being promoted.

Other TiVo charter advertisers, such as Miller Brewing Co. and Pfizer, have limited their involvement to sponsoring onscreen promotional areas such as Network Showcases (to be renamed simply Showcases this summer), TiVolution magazine and the now-defunct interactive on-air program “TiVo Takes.”

Directing traffic

Lexus will create those same kinds of sponsorships before launching the customized advertising for Ipreview later this year, according to TiVo national advertising manager Karl Meyer. Although initial interactivity under the one-year deal will simply direct viewers to other programming sponsored by Lexus, the idea is eventually to allow viewers to be directed to a Web site or other video programming created by Lexus.

Lexus will choose the programs it wishes to sponsor and determine the timing and placement of the Ipreview icon. The deal also allows Lexus to program 30 minutes of advertising content on TiVo machines being prepared for sale to consumers.

“By collaborating with TiVo, we’ve expanded our brand presence beyond traditional mediums of advertising while at the same time heightening the effectiveness of our current advertising models,” said Chris Conard, Lexus national advertising manager, “TiVo’s Ipreview makes it even easier for viewers to find and watch the programs we choose to sponsor, as well as provide a unique and memorable way to interact with our commercials.”