It seems that the car industry is leading the field in exploring the potential of digital television for advertising. BMW is reported to be planning a branded television channel featuring a range of motoring programmes to showcase its models.

BMW has eschewed the Zip TV approach to interactive advertising and is due to launch its first interactive campaign on BSkyB using Sky Interactive technology.

However, according to Campaign, the advertising industry weekly, BMW may be planning to go further by launching a branded television channel.

Enteraction TV, the company behind Thomas Cook TV and London TV, the recently launched Visit London channel, has been linked to the plans, but neither Enteraction nor BMW would confirm any proposals.

BMW recently launched an interactive campaign on the MultiChoice DStv platfrom in South Africa with a dedicated BMW channel on air 24 hours a day for ten days.

“There simply is no better way to demonstrate a new vehicle, short of an actual test drive in it,” said Richard Fyffe, general manager of Interactive Television at MultiChoice Africa.

“Interactive advertising offers advertisers unique opportunities to tailor their ads to better suit their potential customers’ information needs. The potential customer is now able to navigate around the ad and choose a topic they want more detail on, such as the performance specifications of the car.”

An earlier interactive campaign for Toyota on MultiChoice Channel 76 was promoted by spot adverts on other channels.

Francois Loubser, Vice President Marketing Communications at Toyota SA Motors said the interactive service is a strong complement to their traditional on-air advertising. “Interactive television allows Toyota to communicate features and benefits to potential customers whose interest is piqued by traditional advertising, but who would like to take it a step further and receive detailed information tailored to their needs.”