CES 2016: 4C Product Enables Self-Serve Ad Syncing

Complete Coverage: CES 2016

Data science and media-technology company 4C has turned syncing digital ads to TV programming and commercials into a do-it-yourself proposition.

4C is introducing its TV Synced Ads product with a self-service portal Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The product lets clients buy and run web banners, online video, search and social ads programmatically within seconds of detecting that a specific event, commercial or program is appearing on TV.

Being a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering differentiates 4C from other companies that sync digital ads to TV, with control of the data, configuring the settings and generally pushing all the buttons, according to Aaron Goldman, CMO of 4C.

“What we’ve done is we codified it all. You can log in yourself, you can pick the shows you want, you can pick the ads you want to synch to,” Goldman said. Clients can also pick other targeting criteria and choose where they want their digital ads to run once they’re triggered by the appearance of a TV show or commercial.

4C has been testing the product for a few months with clients including buying agency Media IQ. Media IQ brought its own data to its campaigns, which means it already knew who it wanted to reach and what message would be effective, 4C ensures the ads also run at a good time.

“They wanted to define their audience and keep their laser-precise focus,” he said. “This is sort of the missing link and the Holy Grail everyone talks [about ads running] at the right time, in the right place with the right message.”

Goldman said that Media IQ’s campaign it was a 250% increase in engagement rates, compared to similar but non-synched campaigns.

“Nobody can argue with the power of TV in evoking emotion and captivating an audience. The issue has always been determining what that means for a marketer," said Chris Emme, executive VP for sales and business development at Media IQ. “By working with 4C through its TV syncing product, we can capitalize on the emotion and attention that TV offers leveraging it to drive real results for our advertiser partners in the form of media metrics.”

Emme said that “4C TV Synced Ads complements our digital data allowing us to target a brand’s audience that’s more likely to be interested in the product with additional exposure. We can now be in the addressable media conversation and not just the digital media conversation."

The backbone of 4C’s product is Teletrax, the global TV monitoring network it acquired in July 2015. That helps to make what 4C does interesting to TV networks.

Working with 4C, networks would be better able to target their promotional spots, and they could also sell a second-screen package on top of their regular broadcast inventory. "The can sell their [ad] packages, sell their sponsorships, and also sell a digital package that includes some synched inventory," Goldman said.

For now 4C says its programmatic technology can only be used to buy ads in digital media properties, but the company is working to add linear TV spots to the mix. “Right now we’re thinking about the second screen,” Goldman said, adding that buying TV "is something we want to continue exploring.”

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.