If you remember the mid-90s futuristic hype about “interactive TV”, you will know the concept goes back a long way.

Maria Mandel Dunsche remembers. The VP of AT&T’s AdWorks division has been working with such platforms since 1999, helping brands try to exploit the emerging channel. But it’s only lately the reality has come to pass.

“I’ve been in this space for 15+ years,” Dunsche tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “I’ve been shocked by the lack of activity that has happened over the years. It’s only been the last couple of years where there’s been this substantive uptick of interest.

“Digital is really putting pressure on TV to be better targeted, more accountable, more interactive. We’re going to start seeing really scalable solutions which will allow for much better targeting. The next few years are going to see substantial change in the TV space.”

AdWorks is AT&T’s division helping advertisers take advantage of new-wave TV opportunities, including linear, data-optimized, multi-screen and interactive creatives. TV Blueprint is the name of the product AdWorks uses to crunch viewing data from 15 million set-top boxes in to a media plan that can reach up to 55 million households.

At the Cannes Lions festival on June 24, AT&T AdWorks and Beet.TV are partnering on a leadership summit about advanced TV aboard the AT&T yacht. Participants include GroupM Chairman Irwin Gotlieb; SMG’s Tracey Scheppach; Mike Bologna of Modi Media; Mike Welch and Dunsche of AT&T AdWorks.

We interviewed her as part of the series The Road to Cannes, our lead-up to the Cannes Lions Festival presented by Coull.  Please visit this page for additional segments.