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Viewers to talk to Honda specialists through digital TV

Continually innovating, Zip Television pushes the boundaries of Interactive TV by presenting viewers with direct access to Honda specialists through their Digital TV sets. The first ever prototype of the service, known as ‘The Honda Dealer of the Future’, is being revealed for the first time today. Honda experts will interact with viewers that press red, demonstrating and discussing on screen various highlights of the Honda Civic Type-R using video, audio and graphics.

“We are responding to the Honda’s challenging marketing strategy,” explains Lee Goodger, Account Director at Zip Television. “Honda wants consumers to experience the brand at every step of the buying journey and building a one-on-one relationship is paramount. By using interactive TV, we can be incredibly creative, making Honda accessible to a wide range of customers, expanding viewer expectations of iTV and delivering a positive viewer experience.”

The Prototype, developed by Zip Television’s own creative production team, demonstrates, live, how viewers will speak to a Honda specialist. The specialist responds through the television in a picture-in-picture window with the rest of the TV screen used to show video and images throughout the conversation. The Honda specialists have a large amount of information available and they browse and select appropriate images to highlight points in the discussion. So a consumer particularly interested in safety, will be able to explore the key safety features of the car through the TV.

According to Simon Thompson, Head of Marketing at Honda, the Honda Dealer of the Future, is another way of engaging consumers with the brand. He says: “Viewers can research and investigate a Civic, Accord or any Honda vehicle from the comfort of their own home. Because they can talk to a real person, it immediately becomes more engaging and the brand experience is extremely positive. The beauty of this service is that there is no set path for the consumer. They choose what they want to see during their conversation - you don’t get more consumer-centric than that through a mass medium!”

Honda has invested substantially in Zip Television’s iTV expertise over the last six months. Impressed with the results, Honda is working with Zip to investigate how iTV can deliver closer more profitable consumer relationships in the future.

Goodger explains: “Exploring creative ideas and researching their impact on interactivity now, we are able to harness the technology, rather than be confined by its capabilities. Our prototype shows what could be achieved and the research we are doing now will ensure that we maximise the opportunity.

Zip Television has taken a scientific approach to developing this new concept in iTV. Zip TV research interviewed a series of Honda Dealers to discover the types of customer questions asked regularly and then developed a template of potential customer journeys. The Zip creative production team worked closely with a specialist iTV usability test centre (Serco Usability) and the technology providers (Media Logic), to deploy the prototype live. Research will include wide-ranging user testing and focus groups to ensure a successful rollout in the future.

…ends/

Contact:

Zip Television
Katy Howell
immediate future.
0845 408 2031
07803 898 511
katy.howell@immediatefuture.co.uk

Honda
Chris Stevenson
Ketchum
020 7611 3527
Chris.stevenson@ketchum.com

Editorial notes

About Zip Television

Zip Television is a specialist independent interactive television company.

The company’s aim is to help shape the future of interactive television by developing new products and services that benefit its clients and support the growth of this new industry.

Zip TV has a detailed working knowledge of the iTV landscape in the UK working closely with the major broadcasters and digital platforms. The team’s skills are founded on years of interactive media and creative experience combined with data planning and analysis.

The Zip TV channel is an initiative based on a consortium of advertisers representing 40% of the top 50 TV advertisers. The consortium is taking an active role in the development of this industry as well as share insight and learning to exploit the brand opportunities that this new medium provides.

The Zip TV Channel is the first alternative interactive TV advertising channel. It is available to consortium members and non-members who want to use interactive TV backed by research and develop learnings based on their activity.

Members include, Orange, BT, Gillette, P&G, the COI, Unilever, Masterfoods, Camelot, Honda, Reckitt Benckiser and Woolworths.

www.ziptelevision.com

About Media Logic

An expert in the field of broadband and digital media, Media Logic designs and develops innovative, interactive communication technologies for TV, PC, and mobile applications. The company’s iSeeCommunications technology enables businesses to deliver live audio, video and multimedia content to their customers through a high quality, low bandwidth video stream.

Headquartered in Farnborough, Hampshire, Media Logic operates in a variety of industry sectors, including travel, financial services, e-learning and healthcare. For more information, visit www.medialogic.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 30th November 2004