This isn’t online video but it’s an interesting evolution for standard TV advertising and a way for them to incorporate some interactivity, which, as we all know, is what makes online video so awesomely cool, right? Well brands who advertise on television might finally be starting to understand. Pepsi MAX teamed up with IntoNow for this cool new campaign that offers free product via an iOS app.

See, I’m not anti-TV. In fact, some of the best part of my formative years was spent in front of it, how could I hate it? It’s like an extra parent that taught me all sorts of things like robots can talk and mass amounts of anonymous soldiers cannot aim. Well and how to count to 12 really quickly.

So Pepsi MAX is running a Major League Baseball campaign and the deal is that, with IntoNow, the first 50,000 consumers can get basically an iOS-based coupon that gets them a free 20 oz bottle of the carbonated beverage. The campaign begins today with MLB games.

How the IntoNow App Works

Have you ever used an app like Shazam? It’s some amazing stuff right? Well IntoNow does the same thing. It listens to TV programming and determines what it is. In this case, when it tags the Pepsi MAX commercial, the user is able to get the coupon code. The first 50,000 tags get the coupon which is instantly available on the iOS device and redeemable at Target and CVS. Basically it’s just a bar code to scan as a coupon.

“Pepsi MAX is excited to be the first brand to partner with IntoNow to create a real-world benefit for consumers who watch our Pepsi MAX MLB ad,” says Amy Wirtanen, Senior Director on the Pepsi MAX brand team. “This innovative technology connects consumers in an unprecedented manner: simply for watching our ad, we’re able to let consumers try our product and experience the great zero-calorie, maximum taste for themselves.”

This promotion marks the first time that an automated technology like this has been used to bridge the gap from television commercial to real world product. The program runs through December 31, 2011.

Seems like they’re not expecting rapid uptake on it since it’s eight months long for just 50K coupons.

The Cool Factor

The coolness of it all is really the tech. I’m always fascinated by how quickly Shazam knows what I’m listening to and can fill in the blanks. The IntoNow SoundPrint tech is pretty much the same thing, only it works for any television content that has aired in the last five years. That’s certainly a mass of information that it’s combing through to say the least.

Users can tag the identified content and find out what their friends are watching, initiating a conversation around a shared interest. In its first four weeks of availability, IntoNow recorded more than 1 million content tags — an average of one tag every second.

It’s not just about giving stuff away. It’s about being able to put a big pile of information about the content

at the user’s fingertips. Full episode and cast information, future on air scheduling, social commenting on what friends are watching and one-click to Netflix, IMDb, iTunes.

It sounds like…

You know what this sounds like? Yep, Internet TV. But instead of needing just one device, you need two. A step backwards? Not quite, more like the missing link perhaps.

We need to get people accustomed to doing more than one thing at a time. Technology like Google TV and stuff like this gives people that stepping stone, baby step approach. Now you don’t have to potentially interrupt the viewing experience for everyone by commandeering the TV screen, you can access all the info right on your personal mobile, be it iPhone, iPad or whatever.

Sure, some of us often have computers within arm’s reach while watching TV but there are probably more that don’t. This will help get people used to using computing technology to gain more information about a TV show. Once they’re familiar and comfortable with that we can then start ushering them all into the all-on-one solutions that are really Internet TV.

The other thing about this is that people will get used to having far more information available to them which will make them want it more and more. Then again, this is only iOS owners and we know that those types (like myself) are more tech savvy generally. So maybe this won’t be the missing link between TV and Internet information.

I hope IntoNow will drop some interaction numbers on me after the campaign is in full swing and again and the end so we can track how it works out.