National Addressable Ads Remain a Future Play

New York — Addressable TV advertising has been a hit for pay TV providers offering it and for their customers, though those techniques probably won’t go big on the national stage anytime soon.

The technology to enable addressable TV advertising is owned by the operators, while national inventory is owned by the national networks, Michael Bologna, president of Modi Media, explained during a panel dedicated to the topic at last Tuesday’s Advanced Advertising and Measurement Summit.

“They’re both stubborn and difficult,” Bologna said, predicting that national addressable TV advertising is still five to seven years away.

“I’m a little more optimistic than that,” Tracey Scheppach, executive vice president and Precision Video Director at Starcom MediaVest Group, said on the same panel, explaining that agencies could take the lead on bringing those sides together.

Success on a provider-by-provider basis, though, indicates both sides should do more to come together.

“Right now, demand certainly outpaces the supply,” said Matthew van Houten, director of strategy and business development at AT&T AdWorks, which covers 26 million homes and 13 million that are enabled for addressability. “We’re just scratching the surface of the technology and the opportunity here.”

Van Houten noted that an addressable automobile campaign with a domestic company generated $11.3 million in incremental sales; one on travel produced a 23% boost in single bookings; and one with a financial institution saw a 51% lift in new accounts.

Cablevision Systems, meanwhile, went full-footprint in 2010 with its addressable platform that is driven by anonymous data culled from set-tops across about 2.6 million homes. And it had some success stories to share.

One auto campaign drove a return on ad spend of $1.8 million — a media spend of about $405,000 resulted in incremental sales of roughly $2.2 million, Jennifer Koester, senior vice president of advanced advertising product & data analytics at Cablevision Media Sales, said. “That’s not bad for a day’s work.”