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DirecTV Teases Addressable Ads

After months of delays, DirecTV appears to be imminently prepared to launch addressable ads — able to target spots geographically and based on household demographic info, such as income — if it hasn’t already.

The satellite operator’s ad sales website,, now features a prominent banner touting the feature, claiming that marketers can “deliver highly relevant messages to your exact target audience.”

The idea: to deliver different ads in DirecTV’s local ad inventory so that, for example, only households with young children will get a Disney World vacation spot, or that dog owners get dog food commercials (to use the classic, if hackneyed, example).

A DirecTV spokesman, reached Wednesday, did not have information on the status of the project.

DirecTV had been planning to launch addressable ads in the second half of 2011, aiming to enable the capability for 10 million subscribers with DVRs. The DBS operator had an agreement with Starcom MediaVest Group, which committed to spending up to $20 million on the new service in 2011 (see DirecTV Enlists SMG To Sell Addressable Ads For 10 Million Subs). An SMG spokeswoman also was unable to provide an update on the initiative with DirecTV.

How many marketers, though, are really prepared to take advantage of DirecTV’s addressability? TV is a mass medium. Is it really worth the time and expense for Coca-Cola to, say, send Baby Boomers a different ad from one aimed at Millennials?

SMG, for one, has been an outspoken and ardent advocate of addressability, with the agency shooting for 100% addressable ad buys within a decade: “We need to be in the business of targeting people with messages, not TV shows,” SMGx chief investment officer John Muszynski said at the Multichannel News/B&CAdvanced Advertising 3.0 event last February.

In any case, DirecTV also intends to use the system — based on Invidi Technologies’ ad-insertion and targeting technology — to finally deliver local ads, an opportunity worth upward of $400 million, according to CEO Mike White (see DirecTV Eyes Local Ads on 50 Channels in 50 Cities).


Programming Note:Don’t miss MCN/B&C’sAdvanced Advertising: Setting the 2012 Agenda, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York City. Scheduled speakers include Marcien Jenckes, Comcast SVP and general manager of video services, plus execs from Canoe Ventures, Avail-TVN, SeaChange, CNN, NCC, FreeWheel and GroupM. Click here for more info: