Wink Communications Launching Interactive TV Commercials

Alameda, CA-based Wink Communications
is launching its Wink Smart E-Commercial technology, saying it makes
“one-click e-commerce–previously
associated only with the Internet–possible for television viewers.”


Procter & Gamble and The Clorox Co. will be among the first major
advertisers
to test a number of their existing television spots using the new
technology,
which enables customers to instantly request samples and other materials
that
encourage trial and purchase.


Brokerage Charles Schwab will employ Wink E-Commercials to provide
customers
easy access to information and to generate leads. All three advertisers
will
initiate Wink E-Commerce advertisements on cable and broadcast
programming in
the first quarter of 1999, joining Wink’s existing advertisers, AT&T, Levi-
Strauss & Co.
and General Electric.


Wink said it also expects that participating cable operators will offer
local
insertion of Wink E-Commercials in the first half of 1999. The
technology will
be an integral part of Wink’s service as Wink Enhanced Broadcasting is
rolled
out in cable systems across the United States.


“With Wink E-Commercials, direct response marketing
capabilities–commonly
associated with direct mail and telephone marketing–are now available
through the television, using the familiar remote control,” commented
Wink
Communications CEO and President Maggie Wilderotter. “The Wink team is
especially pleased that P&G, Clorox and Charles Schwab–all outstanding
advertisers–will be using this new capability to make television a
one-to-
one consumer marketing vehicle.”


Wink Enhanced Broadcasting adds interactivity to traditional television
programming and advertising to viewers using a Wink-enabled television
or set-
top terminal. Viewers can respond via their TV remote control. The Wink
Response Network aggregates viewers’ requests for product or product
information and forwards
them to advertisers for fulfillment.


Wink said it is expected that as advertisers and networks become
familiar with
the operation and effectiveness of Wink E-commercials, the sale of
interactive
ad enhancements to advertisers will be integrated into standard sales
processes at the various television and cable networks.


Wink has strategic relationships with Time Warner Cable, Comcast
Communications, HBO, ESPN, Charter Communications, InterMedia Partners
and
Jones Intercable, among others. Television and set-top terminal
manufacturers
such as General Instrument, Pioneer, Scientific-Atlanta, Toshiba and
Matsushita are equipment partners.


Wink Enhanced Broadcasting has been deployed in Japan since October
1996, and
in the United States since June 1998 on an InterMedia Partners cable
system.

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