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Ads soon searchable with TiVo

DVR maker to provide searchable ads for selected categories as part of joint effort with several media, advertising agencies.

TiVo on Monday announced plans to provide its subscribers with searchable ads for selected categories as part of a joint effort with several media and advertising agencies.

TiVo plans to offer advertising search this spring, via the user profiles its subscribers create on their TiVo set-top boxes. But it has yet to be seen whether this latest advertising technology appeals to users who hit TiVo's 30-second hidden skip feature to jet past ads.

"TiVo intends to capture the best of the Internet advertising model and create a unique advertising product for the television medium that will provide measurable results," Davina Kent, TiVo's vice president of national advertising sales, said in a statement.

The new feature is designed to allow users to receive advertisements based on their interests, after creating their user profile on the TiVo set-top box. The technology is aimed at giving advertisers a more targeted and interested pool of potential buyers while attempting to steer users away from skipping all ads that flicker across their television tube.

TiVo is working with Interpublic Group of Companies, OMD, Starcom MediaVest Group, The Richards Group and Comcast Spotlight to determine relevant product categories and advertising pricing. Some of the categories, for example, may include automotive, travel and packaged consumer goods.

The searchable ads build on past efforts TiVo has undertaken to appeal to advertisers. Last year, the company announced its Video-to-Video feature, which would allow users to hit a remote control button to watch a 3-minute video featuring products and services that may appeal to them. Users would be able to watch these miniaturized clips while fast-forwarding the regular ads.