Cox Aims Zone-Targeted Marketing Spots With Visible World

Cox Communications is hoping to make its TV advertising more effective by tailoring promotional ads to subscribers in individual cable ad zones, using the dynamic ad campaign system from Visible World.

Visible World's Conductor product automatically generates commercials and delivers them to a specific audience based on criteria defined by an advertiser. Cox, which has more than 6 million customers, will use the system across all its service areas to deliver customized ads at a zone level, which roughly corresponds with ZIP codes.

"Consumers want to see relevant and timely advertising that speaks to their lifestyle and needs," Cox chief marketing officer Mark Greatrex, who joined the MSO in March from Coca-Cola Co., said in a prepared statement. "We are pleased to work with Visible World to provide a communication framework to assure brand consistency while providing flexibility for local markets to customize according to their specifics."

Comcast also uses Visible World's Conductor for cross-channel subscriber-acquisition campaigns.

Cablevision Systems, meanwhile, uses Visible World's solution to deliver ads targeted at the household level. For example, Cablevision worked with GroupM and Visible World to deliver five different TV spots, in the same 30-second ad break across 25 cable networks, on behalf of unspecified brands in the fourth quarter of 2010.

All told, New York-based Visible World, founded in 2000, claims it reaches more than 56 million cable households, or approximately 80% of U.S. cable TV homes.

Elsewhere on the targeted-advertising front, DirecTV has been gearing up to deliver locally targeted ads in partnership with Invidi Technologies and Starcom MediaVest Group.

Visible World began working with Cox on the zone-targeted ads earlier this year after Greatrex's arrival, said vice president of advertiser solutions Tania Yuki. "This happened in record time," she said.

Cox is using the system to customize ads post-buy to deliver relevant advertising to subscribers based on demographic or psychographic profiles.

For example, Cox could deliver an ad featuring Internet parental controls to suburban ZIP codes with a high density of families with school-age kids in the household, according to the operator. A different version targeted to retirement communities could promote security features that keep identity and financial data safe and secure.

Visible World's Conductor dynamically produces different creative from elements provided by the advertiser. "We get the raw elements of the commercial, then depending on what your criteria are we change it out with different offers or vignettes," Yuki sad.

The Conductor system can use marketing-information databases from third-party firms including Axiom, Experian and R.L. Polk & Co.