Navic Networks Enhances Targeted Ads

Navic Networks, a Waltham, Mass.-based firm that provides software to deliver addressable advertising and interactive applications to some 35 million digital set-tops, is now bringing new interactive capabilities to its Admira targeted advertising system.

Admira, which is being used by Cox Communications in its San Diego systems, is a complete advertising-management system for local-cable ad avails that analyzes set-top viewing data to dynamically place ads on networks that are delivering the type of viewers advertisers are seeking. It then anonymously tracks viewing of the spots to deliver Web-like accountability to advertisers.

An advertiser might expect that a prospective home buyer would watch Home & Garden Television but not guess that the same viewer also watches Speed Channel and TNT. The Admira system does know this, however, from analyzing the set-top data, and it can adjust ad placement accordingly by placing spots on those networks, as well.

“It you’re looking for a niche audience, the behavior can track them down,” said John Hoctor, vice president of business development for Navic. “It knows that the same set-top box that watches golf on Sunday also watches [CNBC’s] Mad Money on weeknights.”

Navic is announcing Monday that spots placed through the Admira system will now be able to offer the same type of remote-control-based interactive applications it already offers on conventional spots, such as graphic overlays that can be clicked to request information on a product or the ability to telescope from an ad into an on-demand infomercial.

The vendor has supplied similar interactive capabilities to programmers for several years, such as voting applications for Bravo’s Top Chef and Project Runway.

In addition to the set-top viewing data Admira already offer advertisers, the interactive applications should provide additional metrics that will help advertisers to determine how effectively their campaigns are reaching their target audiences based on consumers’ interactions with the spots.

Navic’s addressable base -- which so far has included cable set-tops from Cisco/Scientific Atlanta, Pioneer and Pace Micro Technology and satellite set-tops from Dish Network -- may be getting bigger. The company’s software has now been certified to work with Motorola set-tops, which will allow it to better target Comcast, the country’s largest cable operator.

So far, it has mainly worked with Cox, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks, although it just powered an interactive overlay application for Project Runway in Comcast’s West Palm Beach, Fla. system.