Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is the latest company to experiment with new-age advertising techniques to lure the consumer dollar. It's no surprise, since many of us will likely soon be whizzing through many old-school TV commercials. However, while TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) pioneered such ad spots, this is another example of how it doesn't seem to take very long at all for rivals to jump on its train.

According to Reuters, Procter & Gamble's new Old Spice campaign includes interactive 10- and 20-minute spots. The ads are in a reality-show format, spoofing the current presidential elections (in case you were wondering, electing the "best-smelling" candidate). However, Procter & Gamble signed up with Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) video-on-demand product, as opposed to TiVo.

Why bring up TiVo? Just because it seemed to be the first mover in what many can imagine could end up being a lucrative new element of advertising -- if the whole idea flies with viewers, of course, which still remains to be seen.

TiVo recently announced a deal with Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) and had an existing agreement with Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCH), according to Reuters. (A Foolish reader also pointed out a similar arrangement with General Motors (NYSE:GM) under its TiVo Showcases program.)

The move makes sense for Procter & Gamble (although frat boys running around college football parties trying to convince females they smell nice doesn't sound too entertaining to me; but then again, it's hardly worse than other reality show concepts that have come down the pike). Advertising's important for the major consumer products company to distinguish its brands from the competition. It's tried lots of experimentation lately; in December, it played around with some product placement on popular reality show Survivor, a move that Coke (NYSE:KO) also resorted to.

However, for stalwart TiVo fans -- and investors -- today's word may seem a bit demoralizing, in a way. Although it's further evidence that such spots are seen as a viable way in which advertising might have to evolve, seeing a deep-pocketed advertiser such as Procter & Gamble sign on with a competing service may sting a bit.

TiVo has an exemplary track record of setting the pace for revolutionary products and services. Beyond its DVR box, licensing, and subscriptions, TiVo has hinted at other revenue channels from services such as audience tracking, improving on Nielsen (measuring popularity of programming and perhaps even ads), as well as the interactive commercial (a nod to the Internet's success in that regard).

The downside is, the competition seems quick to follow the leader. It's been said many times that this year is crucial for TiVo, in many respects, not least of which is quickly ramping up subscribers in order to lure such advertisers. TiVo investors are probably wishing its rivals were a bit clumsier right now.

TiVo and Charles Schwab are both Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. To find out what else has made the grade -- and to find out the newest picks -- try it for six months, risk-free. Or, talk to Foolish folks about the issues on our TiVo discussion board.

"Everyone's happy, they're finally all the same, 'cause everyone's jumping everyone else's train," so said The Cure once upon a time. Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.