Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Discovery, "Penn & Teller," Ensequence, Intenuum

UhHuhh iPhone App for TV, Movie, Photo, Challenge

--Discovery's "Penn & Teller Tell a Lie" to Offer Second-Screen Interactive TV Experience
--Ensequence Provides More Information about its CTAM iTV Idol Contest Entry
--Intenuum Launches ACR-Based Interactive TV Advertising App for iPhone

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a couple of days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Discovery Channel's new series, "Penn & Teller Tell a Lie," which premieres tonight (October 5th, 10:00PM ET/PT), will provide viewers with a second-screen interactive TV experience. "In each episode of 'Penn & Teller Tell a Lie,' [magicians/comedians] Penn & Teller make outrageous claims, such as: a butter knife can stop a speeding bullet; you can melt steel with bacon; a man can run faster than a racehorse; a jet engine can blow out a forest fire; you can lift a car with a head of human hair; wallpaper can stop a wrecking ball; [a] piranha will not kill you; [or] a linen shirt can stop an arrow," Discovery states in its press materials. "But on 'Penn & Teller Tell a Lie,' things are not always what they seem. In each episode, while most of the wildly unbelievable stories are absolutely, positively true--one of them is a totally believable big fat lie! It will be up to Discovery's savvy viewers to spot the fake by noticing buried clues that give it away. In a Discovery Channel first, 'Penn & Teller Tell a Lie' will incorporate an exclusive co-viewing experience into every episode, offering the network's first live, interactive digital/on-air integration. During the show, viewers will be prompted by Penn & Teller to launch the 'Guess the Lie' experience, available on iPad, iPhone and online at Discovery.com. 'Guess the Lie' will allow viewers to select in real time whether each of the stories is 'True' or a 'Lie'--and they can change their vote as many times as they like until the final reveal. The home audience's final results will be revealed at the end of each episode (with different results for ET and PT airings). Will America get it right? Viewers who participate will also be able to access bonus videos, revealing how Penn & Teller were able disguise their lies. The 'Guess the Lie' app will be available just prior to 'Penn & Teller Tell a Lie's' premiere on October 5."
  • Ensequence contacted [itvt] Tuesday with some information on its entry for CTAM's iTV Idol contest (for more on the iTV Idol contest, which will be held today, see the article published on itvt.com, September 23rd), which is one of five finalists. The entry represents a collaboration with WE tv, MSG Networks and Fuse. "The Ensequence iTV Manager platform enables WE tv, MSG Networks (MSG and MSG+) and Fuse to easily update their interactive TV applications to match each network's branding and manage unique feature combinations depending on engagement goals for each show," Ensequence states in its press materials. "The interactive TV experience occupies the lower third of the screen and offers up to five interactive features: polling, trivia/quiz, social media integration (Twitter), sponsorship and recommended programming. Application sponsors engage viewers with interactive banner advertising leading to a lower-third splash page where sponsors can communicate their message through text, graphics and pictures. The application is designed to work on a range of STB's from lower-end to high-end...WE tv tested a simpler application on a limited footprint with polling functionality and experienced double-digit response rates. The metrics from this interactive test provided WE tv with proof that its viewers respond positively to engagement opportunities and the confidence to proceed with development and deployment of this cutting-edge application. The application was designed and developed by Ensequence and all elements of the ITV experiences are managed with the Ensequence iTV Manager Programmer Edition. W.E. Keller Group advised WE tv on the development of this in-program interactive TV experience." Said Jen Robertson, SVP of digital media and business development at WE tv: "We are focused on fully engaging our audience by developing robust interactive opportunities. The multi-function EBIF ITV application puts our viewers in control of a diverse in-program experience and can be used between multiple programming groups (WE tv, MSG and Fuse)."
  • Intenuum, a Silicon Valley-based developer of TV companion apps, on Friday launched UhHuhh, an automatic content recognition (ACR)-based interactive TV advertising app for iOS devices. "UhHuhh makes it possible for TV viewers to capture a picture of their TV screen as they watch a TV program on their smartphone or tablet," the company explains in its press materials. "Once it identifies the content, UhHuhh will offer the viewer a chance to receive prizes and discount coupon rewards from advertisers. Using UhHuhh allows TV viewers to become active participants with their favorite shows. Viewers can answer trivia questions, identify brand names or product placements on the show. They have the option of posting captured images so other viewers of the same program can compete with them or against them in the challenges. Viewers who successfully compete in these challenges can shake their mobile devices to discover prizes, coupons or other rewards given after the challenge. Currently, UhHuhh is promoting challenges that are supported by Pineapple Electronics, multichannel retailer ShopNBC and Wes Ramsey from NBC's new TV series, 'The Playboy Club.' Advertisers who take advantage of the UhHuhh app can open a door to reaching TV viewers using mobile devices. UhHuhh promotes viewer engagement with TV commercials and extends viewing time beyond the traditional 15- or 30-second window. It rewards viewers who care about a particular brand or product. Advertisers can use UhHuhh as a tool to immediately determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns for any brand. UhHuhh identifies consumer behaviors and fosters viewer participation. [A] TV ad is only as effective as the response it produces. UhHuhh is an affordable method of encouraging and gauging your true audience response. Consumers will enjoy the chance to interact in real-time with brands and products they care about. If they are watching a sporting event or another live TV broadcast, they can discuss and share what they watch with other viewers and be rewarded for their TV participation."


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