Interactive Ads - Make me notice you on ABC.com

As a Grey's Anatomy fan I've been relying on the interactive player at ABC.com to get the latest gossip of McDreamy & McSteamy. I like watching episodes online better than TiVo a) because I travel and don't have to worry about being home b) don't have to schedule anything & c) limited commercial interruptions. Over the past few weeks, a couple of ads caught my attention - not because they had the latest and greatest graphics - quite the opposite actually. While most ads featured the same streaming video I had seen on normal TV, Fidelity Retirements and Florida Orange Juice implemented simple flash players that relied on interaction from the viewer. The result? I noticed.

Fidelity Investments had a funny "easy" theme - including an interactive quiz, "the wheel of easy" where you spin and  it randomly selects an "easy" task such as blinking an eye, and a trivia quiz that consists of questions such as:

Dogs are covered in:

a) fur b) sequins c) cat

After the ridiculously easy questions, the end of the flash program states, "We've also made retirement planning easy. click here to learn more. Don't worry your show's not going anywhere."

Florida Orange Juice's campaign began with a video of a children's party where breaking a pinata resulted in exuberant children going nuts over celery as if it was candy. It proceeded to a game where you the viewer "break" an interactive pinata. The final commercial break was an interactive quiz about OJ and its health benefits.  Although I enjoyed the quiz, I found the game a bit disappointing. After 10 unsuccessful attempts to break the pinata, I resumed my show feeling unresolved.

The point? Take into account the end user's point of view. How can you engage them? Will interacteraction result in interest?