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Devices spur addressable TV advertising.

How to Implement Addressable TV: Advice From the Experts

July 28th, 2016   ||    by Charlene Weisler

The variety of devices available for consumers to consume content has resulted in viewer fragmentation across platforms and has created competition for consumers’ time and attention. As Google states, “Now, viewers watch what they want and when they want, across multiple platforms and devices, from the small screens in their pockets to the large screens in their living rooms.”

Stand and Deliver

Addressable TV has become a way to make advertisers’ messages more relevant to viewers by better targeting according to their viewing habits and household profiles. This type of relevancy often leads to greater attention, engagement, and sales. But it’s only recently that the supportive technology behind addressable advertising has enabled a more fluid delivery and measurement capability with dynamic ad insertion and granular set-top box data.

Helen Katz, SVP Research, Starcom, has been in the addressable “trenches” for more than a decade and was directly involved in the first Comcast and Cablevision addressable TV trials. “Any advertiser who has a defined target audience should be working with addressable television,” she advises. “Addressable enables advertisers to understand how television really works through the ability to undertake closed-loop, experimentally designed studies of the impact on consumers. It’s a major stepping stone in the precision video landscape, which includes programmatic TV and index-based buying. Our advertisers are able to take their learning from addressable and begin to apply it to those other advanced TV precision platforms.”

According to Katz, her agency has run more than one billion impressions on addressable TV across more than one hundred brands and for more than fifty advertisers. “Often, what we learn from one campaign raises new questions that we try to answer in a subsequent one. Many initial experiences were more about the technicalities to successfully deliver addressable ads or to bring on a new data partner. We’re now more focused on new ways to measure the impact or how to work in a cross-platform world. Our work last year connected addressable TV with location-based targeting and measurement,” she explains. Mitch Oscar, director of advanced television at USIM, believes, “Addressable and linear programmatic each offer unique value propositions which can be exploited based on the needs of the client, demographic, and behavioral characteristics sought, and footprint of the targeted geography.”

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How can an advertiser best implement addressable right now? According to Trevor O’Brien, Partner and CTO, Deutsch New York, “Addressable ads become interesting when those ads can be dynamic and personal. To get there, we need to connect digital behavior with a system capable of dynamically generating many versions of a TV spot that can be targeted with different messaging and creative.”

But there are challenges. O’Brien states, “This is a workflow change for clients and agencies and networks. It’s a costly thing to get a system setup capable of generating the videos in almost real time and then also the connection to data. Most large MVPDs offer some fairly basic targeting today, but there’s little to no standardization across the various platforms in play.”

Because it’s not available network-wide, addressable is not for everybody, according to O’Brien. “As for whether it’s suitable for all brands—I think the answer is probably no. Mass awareness brand campaigns are still very effective, but if the brand or product being advertised lends itself in some way to personalization then it’s definitely worth experimenting with. Like all advertising, it’s about getting the mix of media right. Also, until standards bubble up and the reach gets much broader, it should still be seen as a good way to test and learn about what works,” he concludes.

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