NBC’s New Peacock Streaming Service is Testing Voice-Activated Ads
NBCUniversal’s new Peacock streaming service will offer interactive advertising via voice-enabled remote controls, according to a Variety report. These “on command” ads will offer viewers a chance to ask for information and special deals with the microphone, much like the ads that audio platforms are currently testing.
The interactive ads started appearing on Peacock in the middle of August, with brands including Coors, Target, and Unilever. Viewers with Comcast’s Voice Remote-equipped X1 and Xfinity Flex platforms can use request information and coupons from the ad as it plays. As an example, during an ad for Unilever’s Suave soap brand, viewers who said Save with Suave would get a $5 gift card. Peacock is still very new and hasn’t made a big deal about the interactive ads, suggesting they are still under development, but presumably, other brands will want in on it if they succeed. Interactive ads are one of several new formats and ways of running ads Peacock is testing. The service has promised subscribers no more than five minutes of ads every hour, which makes the traditional TV model of advertising impossible. Peacock’s experiments are part of an arrangement with a handful of sponsors to work out the best approach for the platform as it evolves. Other streaming platforms have been trying out their own ideas, like ads that run when you hit pause or ads that give a coupon redeemable on a mobile device.
Ads that people can talk to are new on television but are starting to pop up on audio platforms with some regularity. Pandora recently expanded its own interactive ad campaigns to a wider audience a year after debuting the hands-free controls. As with the TV ads, the audio ads, which also include Unilever brands, ask if the listener wants to get more content, usually with specific questions related to the product, like asking about how they are sleeping or if they are hungry for mattress and restaurant ads respectively. And while Peacock is apparently using in-house tech, Pandora is using advertising tech developer Instreamatic’s platform. Spotify has also run interactive ads for Unilever and has started supporting a campaign in the United Kingdom for cosmetics firm Nars. The Nars campaign is built around free samples ordered via a smart speaker, but the interactive aspect is largely the same as Pandora’s.