IDI Launches TV-to-Web Marketing Campaign

Interactive Distributors Inc. in Los Angeles (IDI) said it is creating a
network of local TV stations to cross-promote their genre-related catalog Web
sites in exchange for a percentage of the sales revenue generated.


The service provides a link between television programming, interactive
entertainment, advertising sales and e-commerce.


The barter program launched with 75% of the country cleared, according to IDI
CEO Wilhelm Cashen and Executive Vice President Ed
Wasserman.


Prior to launch, more than 80 stations with group representation from Clear
Channel, Granite, Meredith, Pappas, Paramount and United Chris-Craft signed
two-year agreements with IDI, the company said.


Stations include WWOR-TV/New York, KCOP-TV/Los Angeles, WPSG-TV/Philadelphia,
KBWB-TV/San Francisco, WSBK-TV/Boston, WDCA-TV/Washington, D.C., KTXA-
TV/Dallas, WDWB-TV/Detroit, and WUPA-TV/Atlanta.


IDI’s stations will use on-air promotions to drive viewers to their local
station Web sites, which then serve as “gateways” to IDI Web sites, such as Space Encounters, Black History and Kids Fun House.


As part of the agreement, the stations are committed to run a schedule of six
to ten 15-second IDI-produced promotional spots per week prior to, during and
after like-minded programming. In exchange, stations receive a percentage of
sales generated by visitors who access IDI’s sites. Additionally, a number of
stations have opted to have IDI sell their local Web site advertising.


“Gaining promotional time for what is essentially a barter basis is essential
to our operation,” said Wasserman “We look at our promotional time like any
other advertiser
would. We plan to leverage it into substantial product sales.”


For example, the Space Encounter spots that feature William Shatner (Captain
Kirk of “Star Trek” fame) can be tied to a station’s sci-fi programming. The
spots direct viewers, already interested in that genre, to the station’s local
Web site where they can enter IDI’s Space Encounters catalog sites, offering a
collection of licensed Star Trek merchandise.
The station logo remains prominent throughout the visit.


“With more than 258 million people watching TV, if we can convert
even 1% of those viewers into customers, our model should prove to be
successful for the company and our station affiliates,” said Cashen.

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