Skip to main content

Advanced Ads: Dish Exec -- Hopper Not Affecting Our Clients

New York -- Can Dish's ad-skipping set-top box The Hopper be
a non-issue for advertisers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dish Network's director of
advertising sales Adam S. Gaynor thinks so.

Speaking at B&C/Multichannel
Advanced Advertising event on Wednesday, Gaynor defended the
technology, saying, "I don't think Dish has created the ability to skip over
commercials. I think it was something that's been around for a long time, now
it's just easier for consumers."

Gaynor said Dish ad sales is concerned about innovating for
their clients, connecting them to the viewers and subscribers they want to

"That's where addressability comes in, that's where interactivity
comes in, that's where data comes in," he said on a panel titled "Multiscreen
Targeting -How Addressable Ads Are Aiming at the TV" moderated by B&C business editor Jon Lafayette.
"There are a lot of other remote controls that can do that as well from other
operators. For us it's really about controlling the message to the right

He acknowledged that he spent a lot of time after Dish's
Hopper announcement last year with his team talking to clients.

"Yes people were upset," he said. "When you speak to them
and communicate with them, what we have to offer is a lot stronger than this
little thing over here that's not really affecting our clients."

While the panelists agreed on the usefulness of addressable
advertising, they agreed it's just one part of the larger advertising ecosystem
and a complete media plan.

"At Turner, we're not so much aiming ourselves at
addressability as creating strong branded experiences," said Andrea Ching,
senior VP of marketing and promotions, CNN News Networks and Turner Digital.
"People still need national platforms to tell compelling stories. There's a place
for addressability but we think you just need to have multiple tools to achieve
your marketing priorities."

Ching gave the example of a partnership with Coke Zero for
March Madness Live, Tuner's authenticated streaming product for the NCAA
Championship tournament, for a branded social arena that integrated media like
Twitter into the viewing experience. "We were able to keep them engaged in
every story whether a video was running or not," she said.

Scott Schiller, executive VP of digital advertising sales,
NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment, noted NBCU's own online platform efforts
like the Summer Olympics streaming, which enhanced the viewing experience
without hurting linear TV ratings. He also talked up Zeebox, the second-screen
app that Comcast owns a stake in, for helping drive CPMs through

"An eyeball in the right place is worth more than just an
eyeball," he said. "The greater engagement you can drive in an audience, the
higher the CPM."

Canoe Ventures, who famously got out of the interactive adsbusiness a year ago
to focus solely on building a VOD ad service (it's now in 26 million households), said it will look into
addressability again as clients ask them to.

"For this year it is about scale for the platform - distribution
and programmers taking advantage of it," said Chris Pizzurro, head of sales
& marketing, Canoe Ventures. "We will go there to the extent possible, but
the first thing you have to do is build up that audience to a mass scale."