Interactive TV: The Future of Product Discovery?

Interactive TV, or connected TV, has been hanging around like a lost little puppy for a while. It could be great: the idea is to let consumers view and buy products they just saw on TV (and not in an infomercial sense). Small advertisements would appear during normal television viewing, allowing passive viewers to order the jersey they just saw Eli Manning wearing during the Giants’ win. (I’m not making any predictions for the Super Bowl, I’m just sayin’.) Since most everyone sits in front of the TV with a smartphone or tablet or computer at hand, the connected television would provide a way for companies to exponentially increase the effectiveness of their TV ads and product placement deals.

Ingrid Lunden, on paidContent, points out that companies have yet to lay the groundwork for this interaction to become a widespread reality. She notes that plenty of companies have dabbled in the idea, but have yet to create a consistent framework that consumers can recognize and embrace. Is this the year for interactive TV to become more than a bit player, or will 2012 be just another year for TV?


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