Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What kind of new technology venture brands itself “Canoe”?

Our COO Brian Cohan from Stinson Brand Innovation was recently in New York for a media conference and met David Verklin who heads up Canoe Ventures.

Canoe was created when six of the largest cable companies in U.S. – Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, and Bright House – came together to allow national advertisers to buy customized and targeted ads.

Verklin is charged with not only holding all the disparate companies together, but on helping make “addressable TV” a reality on a national basis.

At the meeting, Verklin was asked about the name “canoe.”

This company isn’t called “Battleship,” Verklin said. Nor is it called “Ocean Liner.” So what does the name signify?

“A canoe is kind of tippy. The mission here is to bring interactivity and addressability to a national advertising and national content. But we can only do that if we—the operators, the networks and the advertisers—stay in the boat, rowing together. There’s been enormous enthusiasm from the operators. Part of this is mutual self-interest. That’s always a marvelous basis for a partnership. The six multi-system operators know that only by working in tandem, that’s the only way we can offer an addressable solution to the problem of national advertising and cable TV. The need is driving the cooperation and the cooperation is driving the need.”

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