WO2001029689A2 - Navigational utility for interactive advertisement fulfillment - Google Patents

Navigational utility for interactive advertisement fulfillment Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001029689A2
WO2001029689A2 PCT/CA2000/001249 CA0001249W WO0129689A2 WO 2001029689 A2 WO2001029689 A2 WO 2001029689A2 CA 0001249 W CA0001249 W CA 0001249W WO 0129689 A2 WO0129689 A2 WO 0129689A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
advertisement
interactive
advertisements
system
plurality
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Application number
PCT/CA2000/001249
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2001029689A3 (en
Inventor
Robert John Westrope
Original Assignee
Centrsource Corp.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US16081799P priority Critical
Priority to US60/160,817 priority
Application filed by Centrsource Corp. filed Critical Centrsource Corp.
Publication of WO2001029689A2 publication Critical patent/WO2001029689A2/en
Publication of WO2001029689A3 publication Critical patent/WO2001029689A3/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

A method and system for hosting consumer interaction with advertisements includes a collection of interactive advertisements and corresponding information regarding each advertisement, such as the advertiser name, product type and the date, time and description of the media outlet in which the advertisement was distributed, a unique locator code and if applicable, a unique locator sound, number or bar code. Consumers can access the interactive advertisement collection and perform a number of tasks, including search for an advertisement, product or advertiser name, view advertisements, request information about an advertised product, respond to a rebate offer for an advertised product, obtain a coupon redeemable toward an advertised product, and initiate a purchase. To perform these tasks, the consumer enters information into search fields to locate the interactive advertisement.

Description

NAVIGATIONAL UTILITY FOR INTERACTIVE ADVERTISEMENT

FULFILLMENT

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/160,817 filed October 21, 1999, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention is directed to interactive advertising, and more particularly to a system that links advertisements through conventional media outlets, such as print, audio, video, electronic media, packaging, and direct mail, with an electronic portal for allowing a customer to view an advertisement electronically and, if desired, conduct a transaction in response to the advertisement.

BACKGROUND ART The average consumer is exposed to over one million print, video and audio advertisements every year, not including advertisements encountered online and through other channels. Though an advertisement may raise a consumer's interest in a product, consumers may want to uncover more information regarding the product, the company that manufactures the product or retailers who sell the product. Likewise, advertisers naturally want to provide consumers with a quick and simple method to purchase a product in direct response to an advertisement.

However, consumers still lack this ability to obtain additional information about the advertised product or service or conduct transactions in response to an advertisement with ease. Usually, if consumers remember an advertisement, they either cannot mentally connect the advertisement to a specific retailer or manufacturer or they must travel to the retailer or manufacturer to receive product information or to conduct transactions. In a partial response to this need, many companies have constructed systems such as electronic commerce sites that allow consumers to purchase products electronically. While currently known electronic commerce sites do create an efficient means to conduct a purchase, they are not designed to allow a consumer to link a specific advertisement in a specific media outlet to product information or product transactions. Thus, there exists a need for a system to allow consumers to electronically access a specific advertisement and gather information on or purchase a product in direct response to that specific advertisement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One object of the invention is to provide a new and reliable means for consumers to interact with advertisements. Another object of the invention is to utilize technology to achieve more efficient and effective advertising and customer relations. A third object of the invention is to increase advertisers' consumer base by providing easy access to and a response mechanism for advertisements. A fourth object of the invention is to provide a mechanism for advertisers, advertising agencies, and media licensees to assess market trends and analyze those trends through consumer responses to advertisements.

In one aspect of the invention, a method to host consumer interaction with advertisements begins by constructing a collection of electronically-accessible interactive advertisements, that correspond with advertisements distributed through various channels. The advertisements can be carried by a number of sources, including but not limited to printed media, television, radio, and billboards. The interactive advertisement collection may include information search fields for each corresponding advertisement, such as, but not limited to, the retail vendor, product type and the date, time and description of the media channel in which the advertisement was distributed, and advertisement locator information, such as a logo, locator number, sound and/or bar code. New interactive advertisements can be added into the interactive advertisement collection as often as required. Consumers can access the interactive advertisement collection via an interactive portal. The consumer can then perform a number of tasks, including but not limited to searching for an interactive advertisement, a product/service or retailer, viewing advertisements, requesting information about an advertised product, responding to a rebate offer for an advertised product, obtaining a sample or a coupon redeemable toward an advertised product, requesting the advertiser to contact the consumer, printing additional information, adding the consumer to a mailing list or initiating a purchase. To perform these tasks, the consumer may search the interactive advertisement collection by entering information into any of, but not limited to, the search fields discussed earlier.

The present invention thus achieves a new and reliable means for consumers to interact with advertisements. The present invention is advantageous because consumers will have a simple way to access information or services with respect to a product in an advertisement. This present invention also provides an easy-to-use way for advertisers to reach a broader market and have increased fulfillment capabilities to their market.

Additional advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the description that follows and may be realized by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 is a flowchart illustrating the general operation of an interactive advertisement fulfillment system according to the present invention. Figure 2 is a sample illustration of a system portal.

Figure 3 is a sample illustration of an entrance page using the inventive system. Figure 4 is a sample illustration of an advertisement search option in the inventive system.

Figure 5 is a sample illustration of an interactive advertisement provided by the inventive system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Figure 1 is a block diagram illustrating an overview of the operation of an interactive advertising fulfillment system 100 according to the present invention. The advertisements in the inventive system 100, a user views and/or hears an advertisement via any known media, for example, television 102, print (newspapers, magazines, product packaging or the like) 104, radio 106, billboards (not shown) or electronic media (not shown). Each advertisement has advertisement locator information such has a visual 112 and/or sound 113 logo which preferably identifies the provider of the interactive advertisement fulfillment system 100. The logo 112, 113 can include an optional locator code (e.g. a numeric or alphanumeric code) 111 that assists the user in locating a specific advertisement more quickly when the user is ready to respond to the advertisement. If the sound logo 113 is used in an advertisement, the logo 113 can be played at, for example, the end of a radio advertisement or in conjunction with the display of the visual logo in a television advertisement. The locator code displayed with the logo 112 is preferably unique for each advertisement.

After seeing or listening to the advertisement, the user can respond to that specific advertisement directly via a terminal 1 14 or other electronic interactive device, but not limted to, such as a wireless device, Internet appliance, mobile phone, etc. The user accesses an interactive advertisement collection 118 via a navigational utility portal 116. From the navigational utility portal 116, the user can select a particular advertisement by entering the locator code or the bar code 111 on the advertisement. However, if the user does not have the locator code or bar code 111 available or if the advertisement does not bear a locator code or bar code 111 with the logo 112, 113, the user can conduct a search in the interactive advertisement collection 118 for the specific advertisement using a number of methods. These methods include, for example, conducting a search by the date of the advertisement, the advertiser's name, the media outlet, the program during which the advertisement ran, or any other characteristic that assists the user in locating a specific advertisement. These criteria are preferably stored along with their associated advertisements in the collection 118. For example, the system may prompt the user by asking for the day the user saw/heard the advertisement and provide a list of options by media type (e.g. newspaper, radio, etc.). As the user makes the selections, additional menus will appear, if needed, to guide the user to the appropriate response box corresponding with the desired advertisement.

Once the user locates the desired advertisement, a system processor 120 displays the interactive advertisement for viewing consumer response, if desired. The response page may reproduce portions of the advertisement sent through the media channel to refresh the user's memory and may also provide additional information to help the user decide whether to respond to the advertisement. The user's responses can include, for example, requesting more information, printing out a coupon, responding for a rebate offer, or even conducting a purchase electronically.

Note that although the example described above focuses on responding to conventional advertising, the inventive system 100 can be used in any application where consumer response is desired and/or where users would wish to request more information. For example, the printed logo 112 could be applied to product packaging so that the user can obtain more information about the product, respond to a rebate offer that would ordinarily be conducted through a more cumbersome mail-in form or download a coupon to use in current or future transactions.

Further, although the examples described herein show a case where the consumer searches for and interacts with a particular advertisement, other options that may be provided by the navigational utility portal 116 include "find samples", which provides the user with direct access to interactive advertisements with sample offers, and "find coupons", which provides the user with direct access to interactive advertisements with coupons. Both of these options may display the interactive advertisements offering samples or coupons in product groupings for easier navigation. The system 100 may also offer a "permission marketing" function that allows users to register their interest in product categories, types, and advertisers that they select. From this information, the system 100 notifies the consumer when interactive advertisements of interest to the user are made available in the interactive advertisement collection. Yet another option that can be offered by the inventive system 100 is a "mail" option, which enables the user to receive messages generated by the system processor 120. These messages can, for example, point the user to advertisements fitting the criteria registered in the permission marketing function, allow communications with a customer service department, and/or provide links to interactive advertisements that are of potential interest to the user.

The following several paragraphs will illustrate a sample search query conducted by a user on the inventive system. Those skilled in the art will realize that this search query serves as an example illustrating how a user transaction with the inventive system may occur; this transaction is merely one example of an infinite number of possible search combinations. Further, one skilled in the art will realize that the inventive system is not limited by the specific implementations, formats and layouts depicted in the figures, nor are the services of the inventive system listed limited to those shown in the accompanying figures. In addition, the system is not limited to providing information in a single language, but instead can be designed to have multi-lingual capabilities.

In this hypothetical situation, Jane Consumer, a resident of Chicago, has read an advertisement in the Chicago Globe and Mail newspaper regarding a new car. The advertisement is linked with a corresponding interactive advertisement in the inventive request fulfillment portal. Advertising campaigns having interactive advertisements that are accessible via the inventive system can be implemented in accordance with the system described in commonly-assigned, co-pending U.S. Patent Application Serial No. to Westrope entitled "System for Implementing and Interactive Advertising

Campaign" (Attorney Docket No. 65626-0003), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. One week later, Jane decides that she wants more information about the car, but she no longer has the newspaper. However, Jane does remember the name of the car, the name of the newspaper, and the date of the advertisement. Jane decides to use the request fulfillment portal to conduct a search for information about the car.

To start a search query, Jane first needs to access the navigational utility portal 116. Note that although this example assumes that the interactive advertisement collection is accessible via a terminal 114 or similar device, the system is not limited to such a configuration and can also be used with wireless devices, electronic communication appliances, hand-held devices, and other interactive electronic devices. Once the portal is accessed, a login screen 200 resembling Figure 2 will appear. If Jane is not a registered member, she will be directed to a registration site 202. If Jane is a registered member, she will enter her identification 204 and password 206.

Once Jane enters the portal, a screen resembling Figure 3 will be displayed. Note that although Figure 3 illustrates one specific screen configuration, any configuration can be used as long as there is some way for Jane to search and interact with the interactive advertisement collection. The screen lists various services 300, one of which is a request to view advertisements in the database 302. Other options include searching for or accessing advertisements offering samples 304 or coupons 306, accessing advertisements that meet criteria entered by the user through a permission marketing function 308, and checking Jane's mail 310 on the system. Additional fields allow Jane to choose the city 312, state 314 and/or country 316 in which she saw the advertisement. Once Jane makes those selections, she will choose the "view advertisements" option. By choosing the "view advertisements" option and by entering a specific location (Chicago, Illinois, USA), the inventive software will allow Jane to search interactive advertisements in the system corresponding to advertising campaigns in the Chicago area. Alternatively, the system 100 can automatically direct Jane to advertisements in her residential area while still providing her with the option to search for advertisements elsewhere. When Jane chooses "view advertisements", a screen resembling Figure 4 will appear. Here, Jane will first choose the date of the advertisement she viewed by clicking on the appropriate day, May 16, in the calendar 400 shown. Then Jane will highlight the "which newspaper?" option 412 in order to choose the Globe and Mail from the pull-down menu 416. Once Jane enters both options, a list 418 of the advertisers having interactive advertisements in the system and who advertised in the Globe and Mail on May 16 will appear. Once Jane sees the "Generic Auto" option in this column, she will highlight and select it.

Finally, in Figure 5, the inventive software finds the specific advertisement 500 Jane searched for and loads it on screen for Jane's review. Besides recalling the advertisement, the inventive software may offer Jane a number of electronic response options 502. These options include printing a coupon for use towards the car, receiving a call from a sales representative, determining the location of the nearest dealer who sells the Generic Auto and purchasing the Generic Auto electronically. Of course, locating advertisements is not limited to the example described above.

For example, the locator code corresponding to a specific advertisement can be entered directly into a field in the request fulfillment portal in a locator code field 318, thereby bypassing the above steps and taking the user directly to the desired advertisement. Also, if the advertisement was seen in other media outlets, the specific prompts provided by the system may differ. For example, if the advertisement was shown on television, the system processor 120 may prompt the consumer to recall the show during which the advertisement aired. Additionally, if Jane chooses any of the other options, such as the "find coupons" option, interactive advertisements fitting those criteria are selected from the interactive advertisement collection. From the foregoing, a new and reliable means for consumers to interact with advertisements is brought to the art. The preferred embodiment's preceding description merely illustrates one of the many specific applications of the principles utilized in the present invention. Clearly, numerous and other arrangements can be evident to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Claims

CLAIMSWHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. An interactive advertisement request fulfillment system, comprising: a plurality of advertisements, each advertisement having advertisement locator information; an interactive advertisement collection wherein at least one interactive advertisement corresponds with at least one of said plurality of advertisements; and an interactive portal for allowing a user to access the interactive advertisement collection, the interactive portal including at least one field for inputting information related to one of said plurality of advertisements to locate a corresponding interactive advertisement.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein said advertisement locator information is a visual logo.
3. The system of claim 2, wherein said advertisement locator information includes a unique locator code that is assigned to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein said advertiser locator information includes a unique locator code that is assigned to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein said advertisement locator information includes a sound logo.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein said advertisement locator information includes a bar code that is assigned to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
7. The system of claim 6, wherein said interactive portal includes means for inputting said bar code to seek one of said at least one interactive advertisements corresponding to said unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein said at least one field includes at least one field for inputting at least one of a vendor name, product name, and product type.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein said at least one field includes at least one field for inputting at least one advertisement characteristic from the group consisting of date, time, and media description.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein the interactive portal further includes a display screen that displays the corresponding interactive advertisement once the corresponding interactive advertisement is located.
1 1. The system of claim 1, wherein the interactive portal includes at least one consumer response option selected from the group consisting of mailing information, printing/downloading information, mailing a coupon, printing/downloading a coupon, sending a sample, phoning the consumer, phoning the consumer at a specified time, placing the consumer on a mailing list, and purchasing a product advertised in said advertisement.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein said at least one field in the interactive portal includes a field to search for interactive advertisements offering at least one of a coupon and a sample.
13. The system of claim 1, wherein said interactive portal further comprises a permission marketing function allowing the user to register at least one interactive advertisement characteristic of interest to the user.
14. The system of claim 13, wherein said permission marketing function notifies the user if an interactive advertisement meeting said at least one interactive advertisement characteristic is made available in the interactive advertisement collection.
15. The system of claim 1, wherein said interactive portal further comprises a mail function.
16. The system of claim 1, wherein said interactive portal further comprises: an option to search for interactive advertisements offering at least one of a coupon and a sample; a mail function; and a permission marketing function allowing the user to register at least one interactive advertisement characteristic of interest to the user, wherein said permission marketing function notifies the user via the mail function if an interactive advertisement meeting said at least one interactive advertisement characteristic is made available in the interactive advertisement collection.
17. An interactive advertisement request fulfillment system, comprising: a plurality of advertisements, each advertisement having advertisement locator information indicating affiliation of the advertisement with the request fulfillment system; an interactive advertisement collection, wherein said interactive advertisements correspond with said plurality of advertisements; and an interactive portal for allowing a user to access the interactive advertisement collection, the interactive portal including; at least one field for inputting information related to one of said plurality of advertisements to locate a corresponding interactive advertisement, a display screen that displays the corresponding interactive advertisement once the corresponding interactive advertisement is located, and at least one consumer response option selected from the group consisting of mailing information, printing/downloading information, mailing a coupon, printing/downloading a coupon, sending a sample, phoning the consumer, phoning the consumer at a specified time, placing the consumer on a mailing list, and purchasing a product advertised in said advertisement.
18. The system of claim 17, wherein said advertisement locator information is a visual logo.
19. The system of claim 18, wherein said advertisement locator information includes a unique locator code that is assigned to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
20. The system of claim 19, wherein said advertiser locator information includes a unique locator code that is assigned to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
21. The system of claim 17, wherein said advertisement locator information includes a sound logo.
22. The system of claim 17, wherein said advertisement locator information includes a bar code that is assigned to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
23. The system of claim 22, wherein said interactive portal includes means for inputting said bar code to seek one of said at least one interactive advertisements corresponding to said unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
24. The system of claim 17, wherein said at least one field includes at least one field for inputting at least one of an advertiser name, product name, and product type.
25. The system of claim 17, wherein said at least one field includes at least one field for inputting at least one advertisement characteristic from the group consisting of date, time, and media description.
26. The system of claim 17, wherein said at least one field in the interactive portal includes a field to search for interactive advertisements offering at least one of a coupon and a sample.
27. The system of claim 17, wherein said interactive portal further comprises a permission marketing function allowing the user to register at least one interactive advertisement characteristic of interest to the user.
28. The system of claim 27, wherein said permission marketing function notifies the user if an interactive advertisement meeting said at least one interactive advertisement characteristic is made available in the interactive advertisement collection.
29. The system of claim 17, wherein said interactive portal further comprises a mail function.
30. The system of claim 17, wherein said interactive portal further comprises: an option to search for interactive advertisements offering at least one of a coupon and a sample; a mail function; and a permission marketing function allowing the user to register at least one interactive advertisement characteristic of interest to the user, wherein said permission marketing function notifies the user via the mail function if an interactive advertisement meeting said at least one interactive advertisement characteristic is made available in the interactive advertisement collection.
31. A method for interactive advertisement request fulfillment, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of advertisements, each advertisement having advertisement locator information indicating affiliation of the advertisement with the request fulfillment system; storing a plurality of interactive advertisements corresponding to the plurality of advertisements in a database; generating an interactive portal that allows a user to access the database by inputting information related to one of said plurality of advertisements to locate a corresponding interactive advertisement; displaying the corresponding interactive advertisement; and providing at least one consumer response option selected from the group consisting of mailing information, printing/downloading information, mailing a coupon, printing/downloading a coupon, sending a sample, phoning the consumer, phoning the consumer at a specified time, placing the consumer on a mailing list, and purchasing a product advertised in said advertisement.
32. The method of claim 31, wherein said advertisement locator information is a visual logo.
33. The method of claim 32, further comprising the step of assigning a unique locator code to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
34. The method of claim 31, further comprising the step of assigning a unique locator code to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
35. The method of claim 31 , wherein said advertisement locator information includes a sound logo.
36. The method of claim 31, further comprising the step of assigning a bar code to a unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
37. The method of claim 36, further comprising the step of receiving said bar code via the interactive portal to seek one of said at least one interactive advertisements corresponding to said unique one of said plurality of advertisements.
38. The method of claim 31, further comprising the step of providing at least one field for inputting at least one of a vendor name, product name, and product type.
39. The method of claim 31 , further comprising the step of providing at least one field for inputting at least one advertisement characteristic from the group consisting of date, time, and media description.
40. The method of claim 31, further comprising the steps of: providing an option to search for interactive advertisements offering at least one of a coupon and a sample; providing a mail function; and providing a permission marketing function allowing the user to register at least one interactive advertisement characteristic of interest to the user, wherein said permission marketing function notifies the user via the mail function if an interactive advertisement meeting said at least one interactive advertisement characteristic is made available in the interactive advertisement collection.
PCT/CA2000/001249 1999-10-21 2000-10-23 Navigational utility for interactive advertisement fulfillment WO2001029689A2 (en)

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US16081799P true 1999-10-21 1999-10-21
US60/160,817 1999-10-21

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US6606745B2 (en) * 2000-10-12 2003-08-12 Frank S. Maggio Method and system for communicating advertising and entertainment content and gathering consumer information
EP1353515A1 (en) * 2002-04-12 2003-10-15 Matsushita Display Devices (Germany) GmbH Color picture tube and deflection system for color picture tubes with improved convergence
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Also Published As

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WO2001029689A3 (en) 2002-06-13
AU1013401A (en) 2001-04-30
WO2001029716A3 (en) 2002-06-20
AU1013301A (en) 2001-04-30
WO2001029716A2 (en) 2001-04-26

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