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TiVo, Best Buy Team on Advertainment

2 Jan, 2003 By: Hive News

TiVo this week became the first digital video recorder (DVR) producer to team with an advertising partner, Best Buy, to deliver original targeted “advertainment” content using big-name talent.

Waiting for Woody, a 30-minute short film produced by the Standard Film Trust of Los Angeles that debuted Jan. 1, includes appearances from George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston.

"We are looking to develop innovative capabilities for the TiVo platform which deliver a unique and entertaining experience to our subscribers, while offering new opportunities for our advertising partners," said Brodie Keast, SVP and GM of the TiVo Service. "Best Buy's sponsorship of Waiting for Woody represents yet another tool that leading marketers can utilize to build brand awareness in a format that focuses on entertainment and not necessarily promotion. TiVo viewers who choose to view this creative and funny short film will also associate the experience with the Best Buy brand and the entertainment technology that Best Buy offers consumers."

The broadcast was the first "opt-in" audience for a DVR-delivered film. TiVo subscribers were able to choose whether they wanted to receive the film by clicking their remote controls during a theatrical promotion that aired earlier in the week. The film in then stored on the TiVo hard drive so that subscribers can watch it whenever they choose.

The move is an effort to strike a balance between the set-top devices' ad-skipping capacity – one of the technology's most popuar features – and the need to offer advertisers new opportunities to reach consumers.

The short feature is the first of a series of shorts to be offered to TiVo subscribers under the collaboration with the Standard Film Trust. The 30- minute romantic comedy was written, directed and stars Grant Heslov, who plays an aspiring actor who scores an audition with his idol, Woody Allen. Heslov has appeared in The Scorpion King, Enemy of the State, Dante's Peak, The Birdcage, True Lies and other films.

The short gets its double-entendre title from its plot, described as “a look at the trials and tribulations of an actor who hasn't worked in a while and how the lack of work affects his performance in the bedroom. His meeting with one of our greatest most respected filmmakers holds the promise of changing his life, in every way.”

"We have seen the value of offering consumers longform branded entertainment in helping to build our brand," said Mollie Weston, manager of production services for Best Buy. "TiVo is providing a creative new approach to advertising that augments our existing programs, but allows us to innovate in new and exciting ways. We were happy to sponsor Waiting for Woody, and again partner with TiVo to provide its subscribers interesting, original content and advance the art of branded entertainment on the service."

The first Best Buy showcase sparked the interest of other advertisers, which began developing and airing campaigns on TiVo. Universal Music and New Line Cinema have promoted albums and films on TiVo in the past few months.

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