Addressable Televsion

November 15, 2016

by Hillary Sibary

Wait a minute... Can advertisers really deliver audience-specific ads on a house-by-house basis? I would have asked this exact question eight years ago when I was a media buyer. At the time I knew all the traditional ins and outs, which meant that linear television was a mass medium and was also a fairly costly means of reaching a really broad audience.

Fast-forward: now the latest buzz in the media sector is this thing called Addressable TV. Media journals and blogs, along with advertising periodicals, are all referencing a shift in traditional TV media buying. Our ever-evolving technology is opening doors for marketers to now have the ability to deliver their television ads to a defined target market.

It's amazing to think that when I am watching primetime TV at night, I am being served different ads than what my 60-year old neighbor is seeing. We are both in the same TV service footprint, but the make-up and psychographics of our households are completely different.

A few years back, our agency decided to present an innovative new means of advertising for a higher education client to consider. We suggested that the client shift some of their traditional advertising dollars into a pool that was our testing grounds for addressable TV. It was a minimal test, and at the time, the option had never been used in the education vertical. Working in media, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to plan and buy within a new media territory.

The exciting part of this test was that we were able to combine programmatic tactics with an age-old means of traditional media. The programmatic side of things allowed for the automation process of planning, buying and delivering the ads. We applied data to instruct which networks, dayparts and programs were going to be purchased. The level of addressability was then added to the buy, which is made possible by cable and satellite companies. These providers give advertisers the ability to buy specific viewing households using first-party and credit card data.

Ingenious? Pretty much.

eMarketer reported in June 2016 that US spending on addressable TV ads doubled in 2015 and was set to double again in 2016. They were projecting that addressable TV ad spending would reach $890 million this year. As much as these numbers sound massive, the reality is that this means of advertising represents a very tiny share of the TV ad universe. This technology is only going to keep growing. The inspiring thing is that our clients know our ability to work with this cutting-edge media. They are the early adopters and are only going to reap that benefits of the opportunities we can provide them.

So, are you ready to go addressable and reach your target audience?

If you’d like to talk with Gazillion & One about developing an addressable television strategy for your organization, contact us online or call (616) 842-7000 to get the conversation started.

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