At a time when the accuracy of ratings stalwart Nielsen is under fire, Ampersand is offering media buyers and marketers Total TV Measurement to help plan, buy and evaluate multi screen campaigns.
Ampersand, an advanced advertising company owned by Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Communications, sells local cable TV spots and addressable advertising that targets viewers based on viewing data from 40 million set-top box households.
Ampersand president Andrew Ward said Total TV Measurement measures all media used by a campaign--whether sold by Ampersand or not--to identify audiences that are being over-served and underserved. Ampersand can provide inventory to help reach the underserved audiences, making campaigns more effective.
“We’re not necessarily looking to replace Nielsen as a currency,” Ward told Broadcasting+Cable. “That being said, we do think there’s a migration away from panel survey data to more deterministic census-level data.”
In both national and local markets, Ward said, television ad sales are going to be driven by richer data, more precise delivery across a multiscreen environment, and greater levels of accountability.
"We don’t know that there will be a single currency of choice, Nielsen or otherwise, in the future," said Ward. "We increasingly find national spot TV buyers leveraging richer data to think about audiences and planning their campaigns."
Total TV Measurement can help marketers understand unduplicated reach for multi-screen campaigns, something for which advertisers have been searching. It can also help control the frequency with which many campaigns bombard heavy TV users with the same commercial.
Ward said Ampersand can tie its set-top box viewing information to brand data in order to identify Ford families and truck buyers for automotive advertisers, for example, and measure the performance of its campaigns.
Ampersand will be working with Nielsen and other data providers, including iSpotTV, but it also needed to build its own platform to secure the unique data assets that it has and be able to use them while protecting consumers' privacy, Ward said.
Ampersand has been building and testing Total TV Measurement for about six months.
"Ampersand’s Total TV measurement has empowered RPA and our clients with access to multi-screen insights, which was not possible before," said Brian McCord, senior VP, executive director of media strategy at RPA, a Santa Monica-based advertising agency and media buyer for Honda.
"The learnings have been instrumental to our strategic planning team, enabling them to plan the most effective and efficient campaigns that drive real business outcomes for our clients. RPA uses this tool to navigate planning across all TV to ensure we understand the unique viewership of our target audience and can collaborate with our investment teams accordingly," McCord said.
Ampersand sees Total TV Measurement as providing a competitive advantage. First, it helps the company create more effective campaigns, It is also a selling tool that provides advertisers with confirmation that its worth switching to data-driven campaigns from using the traditional age and sex demographics to target consumers.
More importantly, using data can make TV more competitive with digital advertising.
"How do we protect the $70 billion television marketplace? By introducing richer data, and better targeting capabilities across a multi-screen environment," said Ward.
Total TV Measurement is going to be available through Ampersand’s And platform, which enables ad buyers to see the data while planning and executing campaigns.
"Nobody doubts the sound strategy of delivering audiences in the multi screen environment or driving richer attribution or measurement on the back end," Ward said. "We can’t allow that sound strategy to get overwhelmed with executional burden. So the And platform gives buyers access to the insights in a more digital construct."
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.