Sky unveils on-demand digital advertising vision

2 Jul 2009

Sky has introduced a new ‘green button’ on its remotes for bookable advertising. The service allows viewers to easily watch and access extended ‘long-form’ advertising.

Advertisers will be able to encourage viewers to press the Green Button on their Sky remote to book longer-form content into their Sky Guide or to record content onto their Sky or Sky+HD set-top box.

The first campaign to take advantage of Green Button advertising in Ireland is Diageo’s Budweiser. To view 90-second exclusive video of Budweiser’s new ‘Lyrics’ ad, viewers will be able to ‘press green’ during the commercial across Sky Media Ireland’s channel portfolio – Sky1, Sky News, Sky Sports 1&2 and Sky Sports News.

“Throughout its history, Sky has continually sought to innovate for advertisers and provide them with more choice and greater opportunities in reaching audiences in new and engaging ways,” explained Malcolm Murray, sales manager at Sky Media Ireland.

“Green Button provides brands with the opportunity to develop high-quality, long-form content catering to those audiences who want a closer relationship with particular brands, or who would value access to exclusive content that has been developed or funded by an advertiser. And with the added functionality of Sky+ and Sky+HD, they can interact with those brands at a time of their choosing.”

Green Button content can range from two minutes to two hours, and the service even allows for the series-linking of advertising content for those brands wishing to create episodic advertising.

Each piece of advertiser-created programming will be made available to Sky homes with standard digi boxes twice a day – viewers will be prompted with an on-screen reminder to watch a selected ad when it becomes available.

“In anticipation of the launch of Budweiser’s epic new TV ad ‘Lyric’, we have worked closely with Sky over the past number of months on securing a first in Irish media,” explained Jenny Byrne, director of Initiative.

“We felt the Green Button was the perfect platform from which to launch Budweiser’s long-awaited new campaign, due to the fantastic content, high quality and level of detail contained in the execution. Most importantly, it allows us to drive engagement with our audience beyond the traditional ‘spot’ on a platform of channels that are hugely important to male viewers.”

In addition, in over a third of Sky homes that have Sky+ or Sky+HD, viewers will have the opportunity to have the ad stored on their Sky+ planner for playback at a time of their choosing.

Bookable advertising further extends the long-form advertising opportunities offered to advertisers, complementing ‘red button’ interactive advertising. 

Charles Wong, marketing manager, Budweiser, said the new service will launch with the ‘Lyrics’ campaign to coincide with Independence Day in the US on 4 July. “We are confident that consumers will really enjoy this feel-good ad, from the concept that great things happen when people come together.

“‘Lyrics’ has the same entertaining and memorable quality as some of the most iconic Budweiser ads in history including ‘Frogs and Lizards’, ‘Whassup’ and the Clydesdales Christmas ads, and the best part of this ad is that it was shot for real. It wasn’t an easy ad to produce, so we’re delighted to have the behind the scenes’ footage for consumers to see how we did it!,” Wong added.

By John Kennedy