Philips Electronics' WebTV on May 23 will launch its first infomercial that also has an online component for providing electronic commerce.
Created by TV Tyee, Portland, Ore., the 30-minute program will encourage viewers to visit a new Web site that serves as an alternative channel for purchasing product.
Consumers who visit the site can see bits and pieces of the infomercial or jump right to the WebTV product page to see specifications, pricing information or an online order button.
"We want our clients to have an accountable form of marketing," said Cheryl Yoshioka, Tyee's director of interactive marketing.
While 800.com initially will be dedicated to WebTV, Tyee plans to begin selling other products there. Tyee gets a percentage of the dollar value of any goods sold.
"Most clients don't want to beef up neither their staff nor their site to handle commercial transactions," Ms. Yoshioka said. "That's where we'll come in." Other Tyee clients include Apple Computer.
Tyee earlier this year launched a series called "CoolStuff from the Cosmos," selling science fiction merchandise. The series also has a Web component on the Sci-Fi Channel's site, from which Tyee has tracked up to 10% of total sales.
"We can't make projections on how much our 800.com site may sell because commerce on the Internet is just beginning to take off," said Ms. Yoshioka. "However, the commercial site fits into our long-term strategy to offer on-demand infomercials online and provide immediate opportunities for commercial transactions."
Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.