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Comcast Technology Unveils Global Ad Management System

Comcast Technology Solutions said it has launched a new ad management product for linear and digital video that uses automation to reduce man hours and eliminate errors for advertisers.

The system has been in the works for three and a half years and was developed internally for Comcast, one of the biggest U.S. advertisers. Comcast companies, including NBCUniversal, began using the system about 18 months ago.

Several agencies that buy ads for Comcast are using the systems and it is now being offered in the market to other agencies and marketers.

Richard Nunn, VP and general manager at Comcast Technology Solutions, said the system saves time and money by automating the matching of creative to media buys, managing traffic, creating targeted versions of ads and reporting across all channels. The system also monitors talent rights.

The system was designed to be used globally and Comcast Technology Solutions has made a deal with London-based ad technology company Peach, which operates in 100 countries.

Comcast Technology Solutions is in discussions with Sky, acquired by Comcast earlier this year, about using the system.

“There’s a lot of inefficiencies in how ads get created and mapped into the media buy. There’s a lot of manual hand cranking,” said Nunn. “This automates the process, makes life a damn sight more efficient, mitigates risk around errors and mitigates risk around talent rights.”

In a billion-dollar ad industry, eliminating errors can really add up, Nunn said.

“The model is pretty robust. It has proven out that it's scalable across multiple products because we're a major Advertiser ourselves,” he said.

The new Comcast system does not buy or target ads. It is compatible with the Strata, the media-buying software from Comcast’s FreeWheel unit, as well as other platforms including Mediaocean’s.

With more advertisers trying to more closely target ads, Comcast new system can automatically create multiple versions of an ad, tailoring them to specific audience groups.

“We can effectively ingest the core 60-second ad, make multiple versions of that ad in under one minute, which is extraordinary, ingest those multiple versions into our platform and drag and drop the asset into the buy. It’s all automated behind the scenes,” Nunn said.

Nunn said the system is already paying dividends for Comcast and that other advertisers and agencies that have seen it appear interested. He expects to be able to announce some new partners in the next few weeks.