Volvo encourages viewers to Press Red for their Mystery of Dalaro campaign

This innovative campaign, supporting the launch of the Volvo S40, was shot in the style of a documentary purporting to be a real account of the Swedish village Dalaro where 32 people all bought a new Volvo S40 on the same day.

But Volvo has now revealed that it is Spike Jonze, the director of the films 'Being John Malkovich' and 'Adaptation' as well as the legendary Beastie Boys video 'Sabotage', who made the documentary. However, it has said that the characters in the campaign are real residents of Dalaro and not actors.

This campaign shows how offline ad executions naturally drive visitors online. During the campaign, visits to the Volvo UK web site doubled and 435,000 digital viewers of the ad selected the red button option to view the documentary via interactive TV.

Those pressing red on iTV saw a longer eight minute version of the documentary, made by director Spike Jonze, featuring interviews with residents of Dalaro talking about the spooky phenomenon and had the opportunity to download brochures, thus interacting much more closely with the brand than was possible before the advent of iTV. The documentary was also available from the web site which received 96,000 visits with 64% accessing the video and several thousand requesting a brochure.

Source: Revolution Magazine, 19 March 2004 (

Svennivig (2004), in his research on use of interactive media, points out some of the limitations of interactive TV when he says: 'Television may not, however, be the ideal route for delivering interactive services in terms of volume of use. For a start, the medium has a central social function ... This social role is not particularly compatible with the range of existing or potential services.' The research summarised by Svennevig (2004) in Figure 3.9 shows that the usage of web-based services is currently much more important than using iDTV services amongst UK audiences.

How does interactive digital TV work?

Figure 3.10 shows that a set-top box is an important component of the interactive digital TV system. This is used to receive and decode the message from a satellite dish or cable that is then displayed on a conventional TV. The set-top box also includes a modem that is used to pass back selections made on the interactive shopping channel to the company across the Internet using standard phone lines for the connection. For digital cable connections, there is a continuous connection between the set-top box and the provider which means that more detailed information on customer behaviour is available. The image displayed is lower-resolution than a PC and each supplier uses a different display standard. This means that HTML web content cannot readily be transferred to iDTV and needs to be repurposed.

Sky interactive services have previously been limited to a small number of e-commerce sites such as Domino Pizza and BlueSquare paying premium fees. This 'walled garden' has now been extended to any site with the 2005 launch of SiteControl (Beta version) You can think of this as 'web over TV' although Sky is keen not to position it as such since the reality is that content does need to be repurposed for the lower resolution. The benefits of this new service as defined at the launch are:

Any web site operator can now extend their service to include over 7 million interactive TV Sky boxes reaching new customers and audiences efficiently and cost-effectively using Sky's new e-business portal. All you need to do is build a site using WTVML (that's Worldwide TV Mark-up Language), use SiteControl to tell Sky where the site is and configure any special options you want.


Developing for a new access platform content that was previously used for a different platform such as the web.

Figure 3.9 Relative use of the Internet and interactive TV

□ % of iTV users ever using via PC □ % of iTV users ever using via iTV

Figure 3.9 Relative use of the Internet and interactive TV



Figure 3.10 Components of an interactive digital TV system

Transactions with company

Figure 3.10 Components of an interactive digital TV system

When a company decides how to respond to iDTV several levels of commitment can be identified:

• promotion - using interactive ads;

• content - repurposing web site for interactive TV;

• content - new interactive services;

• e-commerce - transactional services, typically for a limited range of products.

Other new digital access devices may affect the future infrastructure requirements. These include digital home storage. Its promoters are describing this as 'The biggest change in conventional broadcasting since the industry began'. Variously referred to as 'personal video recorders', 'home media servers' or 'content refrigerators', they all involve recording a TV programme direct to a magnetic disk which gives 20 hours of recording time. Examples are Sky+ and TiVo. These offer the opportunity to pause a programme while it is being transmitted, record it and return to it later. It may also be possible to filter out adverts. There is likely to be convergence of these devices with the PC. Home entertainment PCs running Windows MediaCenter are gradually growing in importance.

As a conclusion to this section complete Activity 3.1, which illustrates the type of technology dilemma marketers face as new technologies are introduced. Case Study 3 can be used to support Activity 3.1.

Activity 3.1

Advertising With Circulars

Advertising With Circulars

Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.

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