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Addressable ads – getting them right the first (and second) time

A generation ago, part of the TV viewing experience was an unstated compact that in exchange for content, viewers would be subject to a certain amount of advertising. These ads may or may not have been relevant, but viewers nonetheless sat through them – what choice did they have? These days, service providers have moved far beyond merely hoping an ad lobbed at a specific demographic hits its target. Now we have all sorts of info about viewers to make sure they’re seeing the ads we want them to see. But just as we worked that out, the way we watched TV started to change. Yes, now TV is on many devices, but that’s not the only change. Binge-watching of entire seasons long after the show’s original airing, has changed how ads can be integrated into non-linear content. The second-screen phenomenon and the shrinking attention span of the TV viewer have created an environment where a message must hit its mark immediately, with no margin for error. To keep ads fresh, to keep wandering eyes watching ads and to keep content monetized, service providers and advertisers need to find their footing in this new world.

The beauty of the Advertising Management solution is that it gives advertisers a second (and third, and fourth) bite at the apple. The initial ads are run when the show is aired, but what if the viewer never saw that real-time broadcast, as is increasingly common? By the time they do view the content, days or months later, the original ads that ran with it may no longer be relevant. No problem – a fresh, highly targeted ad can be run when the show is viewed off a DVR or as VoD. How highly targeted are we talking about? If Bob starts watching a recorded movie at home, pauses it halfway through, hops on a plane and finishes watching it on a device in his hotel room across the country, the ads he’ll see during the second half of his movie could be targeted to his new location, and serve ads, for example, from local restaurants where he might like to have dinner. The Ad Manager seamlessly provides ads regardless of device type or delivery type; it is a common solution for advertising over MPEG2, IP multicast, and ABR services.

Of course, even if your viewers are stationary, you can address them specifically as well. Based on subscriber demographic data, you can target ads to your viewers based on income levels, location, marital status, number of children, or a host of other factors. These different ads will run simultaneously during commercial breaks and will end precisely when content resumes. This excellent case study shows how BSkyB, Europe’s largest pay-TV operator with a base of 10.5 million subscribers, used Ad Manager software to implement more than 700 campaigns, targeting more than 200 distinct audience segments.

For more information about Cisco’s Advertising Management solution, click here.

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