CBS Jumps into Data With New Ad Product

CBS is throwing its hat into the big data TV advertising ring.

The network on Tuesday introduced its Campaign Performance Audit, an approach that uses performance-based metrics to help advertisers maximize their television spending and improve return on investment.

While TV still commands the biggest share of national ad dollars, marketers are shifting more money to digital media, including online video. That's partly because ratings are declining, so marketers need to look elsewhere to find their customers. Another reason is because digital media promises more precise targeting and a clearer picture of campaign effectiveness than a mass medium like television is able to provide.

TV companies are now embracing data to find new ways to target ads and measure their effectiveness. For example, earlier this year, NBCUniversal announced its Audience Targeting Platform, which his designed to identify high-value ad inventory based on consumer behavior.

CBS says its approach, CPA, has been tested with select advertisers since last fall. It provides advertisers with a roadmap using analytics provided by CBS and Nielsen.

CBS research assets include its Television City facility in Las Vegas where the network measures viewer reaction to its shows. CBS says Television City can also be used to test the effectiveness of ad messages.

Nielsen assets being employed as part of CPA include Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Nielsen Buyer Insights, Nielsen MotorStats, Nielsen MRI Fusion, Nielsen Brand Effects and Nielsen Cambridge Media Demand Landscape.

"Research shows that network television is the most powerful medium in building both brand awareness and equity for marketers," David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp. and president of CBS Vision, said in a statement. "With CPA, we are offering clients a new way to analyze Nielsen's performance-based data to achieve ideal reach, frequency, targeting and placement for clients looking to craft a campaign that delivers the optimal return on their television advertising investment."

Poltrack introduced CPA at an Advertising Research Foundation address.

CBS has been an advocate of using data to demonstrate how some of its shows attract heavy users of certain products. The approach was important to CBS because its viewers tend to skew older and many advertisers focus on the young adults 18 to 48 demographic.

"CBS is again at the forefront of offering clients tangible and proven tools to ensure dollars spent on CBS are the most effective and powerful of their overall ad spend," said Jo Ann Ross, president of network sales for CBS. "We believe this approach, which arms marketers with solid data, will help them make informed media buys that deliver results."

CBS said the CPA approach also helps clients test the effectiveness of their message, maximize weekly reach and recency. Using the CPA tools will help with TV planning and buying, as well as provide a measurement of return on investment.

Jon Lafayette

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.