BrightLine adding voice activation to OTT ads

Apple TV
Apple TV viewers may see an ad for a new show, prompting them to tell Siri to add it to their “Up Next” list. (Apple)

BrightLine is adding voice activation to its OTT ad platform, InCast, in hopes of expanding opportunities around commerce, attribution and engagement.

The company said its platform can detect which voice assistant a TV uses and dynamically incorporate available commands into ads. For example, BrightLine said on Fire TV a viewer will be prompted to tell Alexa to add the product they’re viewing to their shopping cart for immediate or later purchase; or on Apple TV viewers may see an ad for a new show, prompting them to tell Siri to add it to their “Up Next” list. The company said the device-aware prompts only appear on ads when the appropriate assistant is detected, and commands are available.

"As TV voice assistants become increasingly sophisticated and integrated with our viewing experiences, so too must we integrate them into our ads," said Robert Aksman, BrightLine's Chief Strategy Officer, in a statement. “This is only the beginning as we develop custom skills, and deeper connectivity and awareness with IoT devices on the same network as the user's TV.”

The new feature comes as BrightLine says demand for new ad formats is increasing.

RELATED: NBC teams with Brightline for interactive ads during the Olympics

“We’ve seen a 150% increase in demand for enhanced ad formats in OTT, as marketers in all categories are comfortable with the changing paradigm in TV delivery,” said Jacqueline Corbelli, CEO of BrightLine, in a statement. “Marketers have shown they’re ready to up the ante and take advantage of all the bells and whistles that these new viewing experiences allow to improve the ad experience, and drive value.”

Earlier this year, BrightLine partnered with NBCUniversal to incorporate interactive advertising into coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Partners like Comcast’s Xfinity were able to offer interactive ads during the Games across platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android and Apple mobile operating systems.

“There is no better place to introduce new capabilities and products to audiences and marketers than the 17 days of the Olympics,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of Advertising and Client Partnerships at NBCUniversal, in a statement. “With our partners at BrightLine we’re introducing interactive advertising and deeper, more meaningful engagement with advertising, continuing to enhance our viewers’ experiences with our programming on all platforms.”