Porsche, Acura latest to try out TiVo showcases

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Auto marketers Porsche and Acura are poised to become the latest advertisers to mount long-form ad programs on TiVo's personal TV service.

The deals, whereby each marketer will run a TiVo showcase over separate two-week periods, represent an accelerated drive by TiVo to lure marketers to experiment with opt-in, long-form advertising targeting its 510,000 subscribers.

The Porsche showcase, running March 13-27, will promote the Cayenne, the brand's first-ever sport utility vehicle. Porsche broke advertising for the Cayenne in January but the luxury vehicle isn't expected to go on sale until next month. "We want to see how people react to this kind of advertising on a different medium. It's a test," said Kevin Nicholls, marketing communications manager, Porsche Cars North America.

American Honda Motor Co.'s Acura showcase is set for April 7-21.

Both advertisers sought exclusive category status for their showcase runs. Omnicom Group's PHD, New York, handles media for Porsche, while Interpublic Group of Cos.' Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, handles creative. Rubin Postaer, Santa Monica, Calif., handles Acura. The agencies and Acura declined to discuss showcase plans.

TiVo showcases come in four-minute increments and allow advertisers to experiment with requests for information and lead generation. For example, an advertiser can integrate its TiVo campaign with a national TV campaign via an iPreview tag. A marketer with a new product launch can electronically tag a 30-second spot.

The tag allows TiVo subscribers to see an icon indicating that there's more content available about the product. Subscribers can choose to see more content by pausing the live broadcast, at which point they are brought into a branded showcase. Within the showcase, an advertiser can tag content with a call to action, a Web address, request for more information or a push to a dealer. Viewers can also opt-in to receive more information on impulse.

"It's an environment where the consumer is completely in charge," said Brodie Keast, senior VP-general manager, TiVo. "The advertiser is inviting the consumer to learn more and the consumer decides whether they're interested."

not the first

Porsche and Acura are not TiVo's first automotive advertisers-Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus promoted the launch of the Lexus ES300 in late 2001. It used 30-second TV spots from its ad campaign and directed TiVo users to Lexus.com to enter a contest.

BMW's most recent showcase featured the second round of its successful film series. TiVo subscribers could access the short films within a branded BMW showcase but also opt-in to watch a 30-minute short history of BMW.

contributing: jean halliday

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