Canoe Ventures: The Future of Your Remote?

A New Take on Television

This is the first year that Media Studies has been invited to Canoe Ventures, a cable industry-funded company looking to innovate set-top boxes, personalize television advertising, and create a interactive television experience. CEO David Verklin is a UVA alumnus who welcomed us with a detailed presentation, enthusiasm, and a delicious lunch. It’s been a long time since he’s been at U.Va, but he clearly remembers how much college students appreciate free food.

Students agree – it was refreshing to visit a start-up on the NYC trip. In past years the majors have mainly circulated through established outlets so the perspective, advice, and personal stories of the people at Canoe were very interesting. They described themselves as wholesale innovators seeking to revolutionize television advertising and compete with the Internet.  Some ideas they discussed were pop-up screens linking to more information and/or coupons you can access with your remote. On-screen polling and trivia are also options. Mr. Verklin discussed the way such technology could improve fundraising, political polling, public service announcements, and targeted advertising in the future. Potentially, dog food advertisements would only reach households with dogs and make-up advertisements would only reach female viewers.

Student Questions

David Verklin, CEO of Canoe Ventures

Canoe Ventures allowed us to really flex our media studies muscles. Every employee we spoke with encouraged us to ask questions about their work. Many of these questions centered on privacy and whether these new innovations in television advertising might be seen as invasive. Will consumers appreciate these interactive features or ignore them? If we can now instantaneously buy a product during an informercial with the press of a button, will our credit card information be compromised? Mr. Verklin explained that because cable companies already know a user’s basic information, Canoe Venture advertising technics will not be behaviorally based – a flaw he often sees from Internet cookies.

In addition to the relevant privacy and policy questions, students were also curious about how interactivity might also change entertainment. Could television shows be created with these features in mind, perhaps letting viewers decide the outcome of plots or support reality show contestants? Students also wondered how these advertising ideas fit in with networked, compatible devices in the home and greater concepts of convergence. Will cable become more like the Internet or will the Internet replace cable? Obviously, Canoe Ventures believes in the former.

Professor and Undergraduate Director Aniko Bodroghkozy asked, “Is mass audience advertising dead? Don’t we all need toothpaste?” Lately, it seems that these innovations and personalized online advertising from Google and Facebook are leading us into a world of individualized commercial persuasion. It will be interesting to see how these new advertising strategies will play out with consumers and how they will be impacted by policy. Only time will tell!

This ends another productive, adventurous day with the department. Remember to follow us on Twitter (look to your right) and comment on the blog!

This entry was posted in 2010 NYC Trip. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Canoe Ventures: The Future of Your Remote?

  1. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours lately, yet I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It’s beautiful price enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the net will probably be much more helpful than ever before.

  2. I am not sure the place you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic information I was in search of this information for my mission.

  3. Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I am surprised why this twist of fate did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  4. I seldom comment, but i did a few searching and wound up here %BLOGTITLE%. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright. Is it simply me or does it seem like a few of the responses come across like coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at other sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Could you list of every one of all your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s