by Mindy Charski
3 May 2000 - Adforce will partner with Set-top.com to deliver banner advertisements on interactive television by the end of May, the companies will announce Wednesday.
For Adforce, a CGMI-backed ad serving unit, the move is the second half of an effort called Adforce Everywhere that is aimed at expanding advertising beyond the PC.
In late March the company announced it was partnering with technology developer fusionOne, wireless-device maker Nokia, and marketing agency SF Interactive to create ways to deliver advertising on wireless devices.
"I certainly see the television as being the intersection for Internet-based content, for the ability to service promotions and do the transactions," says Dee Cravens, executive vice president of Adforce, which is based in Cupertino, Calif. A primary reason: People are used to seeing ads on television.
The technology will allow television programmers to advertise shows that are currently playing. Viewers interested in those shows can click on the ads to be transported to the channel. So you might be surfing the Net through your television and up pops an ad from ESPN.
Clicking it won't bring you to the cable channel's Web site but instead to the live station, which might be broadcasting the National Hockey League Playoffs. Other advertisers could be infomercials, or pay-per-view movie channels. "The idea is while people are Web surfing they don't miss their shows," says Jamison Ching, president and chief executive officer of San Diego-based Set-top.com.
Banner ads are just the beginning, Cravens says. Look for streaming media ads in a year, he predicts, the kind TV watchers are more accustomed to viewing. Disney, for instance, could run promotional trailers for its next movie; Adforce would know you're interested given your tendency to purchase movies over the television. Or, in a two-minute snippet, Martha Stewart can advertise her newest timesaving invention, and viewers can click and buy, right through the tube.
Set-top.com has been working to integrate its technology with Adforce's ability to track and manage ads since November. Set-top.com is currently marketing the Set-Top.com Internet TV Portal and the Made-For-TV Search Engine.