How Cox Could Boost Interactive Advertising Revenue

Cox Communications says it will be able provide subscribers with a “better interactive programming advertisement system” by converging interactive TV and program guide functionalities.

The cable MSO details its approach in a patent it won on Tuesday. Robert Kelter is named as inventor on the patent, titled, “Enhanced interactive television.”

Abstract: Interactive programming advertising methods and systems are provided. A selectable menu may be provided with a broadcast programming advertisement. The selectable menu may include one or more selectable functions that may allow for a user to interact with the broadcast programming advertisement. Data regarding the user’s interaction or non-interaction with the interactive programming advertisement may be collected and utilized for providing a user with a more customized television viewing experience, for targeted programming advertisements, for measurement of new viewer generation data, as well as for other marketing activities directed to the user.

Claims: 

1. A method for providing interactive programming advertising, the method comprising: preparing a user profile; selecting an interactive programming advertisement based on the user profile, wherein if user interaction data indicates that a user regularly watches a particular program, an interactive programming advertisement for the particular program is blocked from selection and an interactive programming advertisement for a similar type of program or service is selected; broadcasting the selected interactive programming advertisement outside of a program guide based on the user profile; providing a selectable menu for selecting a functionality associated with content related to the selected interactive programming advertisement; if an interaction with a selection from the selectable menu is received, providing a functionality associated with content related to the selected interactive programming advertisement, collecting data associated with the interaction, and setting an alert to inform the user when the content is starting; and if an interaction with a selection from the selectable menu is not received, collecting data associated with the non-interaction.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein an interactive programming advertisement comprises an advertisement for at least one of a product, a service, a programming series, a programming episode, or an individual program.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein a broadcast interactive programming advertisement is broadcast based on collected data, the collected data comprising at least one of customer profile data, preferences data set by the user, feedback data, user viewing behavior, the user’s previous interaction with an interactive feature, market segment data associated with the user, electronic mail system data, authentication system data, and billing system data.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein billing data comprises at least one of the user’s name, street address, business identification number, social security number, credit history, and information regarding services and products subscribed to by the user.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein viewing data comprises one or more data items related to a channel watched, a network watched, a program watched, an episode watched, a genre of a programming watched, a time a programming is watched, a day a programming is watched.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein user interaction data comprises one or more data items related to user preference data, feedback data, data related to interaction with a digital video recording device, data related to interaction with a programming advertisement, data related to interaction with a product advertisement, data related to interaction with a service advertisement, and data related to interaction with an interactive programming guide.

7. The method of claim 3, wherein collected data comprises demographics data.

8. The method of claim 3, wherein collected data comprises customer profile data.

9. The method of claim 3, wherein collected data is associated with one or more specified users of a set-top box.

10. The method of claim 3, wherein collected data is associated with any user of a specified set-top box.

11. The method of claim 3, wherein collected data is associated with a plurality of users fitting a specified demographic criterion.

12. The method of claim 3, wherein collected data is associated with a plurality of users fitting a specified geographic criterion.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein a selection from a selectable menu comprises viewing additional information about a program, series, or episode, setting a reminder, or recording a program, series, or episode.

14. A system for providing interactive programming advertising, the system comprising: an interactive programming advertising system operative to prepare a user profile; to select an interactive programming advertisement based on the user profile, wherein if user interaction data indicates that a user regularly watches a particular program, an interactive programming advertisement for the particular program is blocked from selection and an interactive programming advertisement for a similar type of program or service is selected; to broadcast the selected interactive programming advertisement outside of a program guide based on the user profile; to provide a selectable menu for receiving a selection of a functionality associated with content related to the selected interactive programming advertisement; if a selection from the selectable menu is received, to provide a functionality associated with the selection, to collect data associated with the selection, and to set an alert to inform the user when the content is starting; and if a selection from the selectable menu is not received, to collect data associated with the non-selection.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein an interactive programming advertisement comprises an advertisement for at least one of a programming series, a programming episode, or an individual program.

16. The system of claim 14, wherein a broadcast interactive programming advertisement is broadcast based on collected data.

17. The system of claim 14, wherein collected data comprises one or more data items associated with customer profile data, viewing data, user interaction data, demographics data, or geographical data.

18. A non-transitory computer readable medium containing computer executable instructions which when executed by a computer perform a method of providing an interactive programming advertisement; comprising: preparing a customer profile; selecting an interactive programming advertisement based on the user profile, wherein if user interaction data indicates that a user regularly watches a particular program, an interactive programming advertisement for the particular program is blocked from selection and an interactive programming advertisement for a similar type of program or service is selected broadcasting the selected interactive programming advertisement outside of a program guide based on the customer profile; providing a selectable menu; if an interaction with a selection from the selectable menu is received, providing a functionality associated with the selection, collecting data associated with the interaction, and setting an alert to inform the user when the content is starting; and if an interaction with a selection from the selectable menu is not received, collecting data associated with the non-interaction.

19. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 18, wherein an interactive programming advertisement comprises an advertisement for at least one of a programming series, a programming episode, or an individual program.