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Visible World Upgrades To Deliver Targeted Ads In HD

Addressable-advertising vendor Visible World has largely completed an HD upgrade to its geographically targeted ad system, which reaches 55 million cable households, in cooperation with Comcast Spotlight, Time Warner Cable Media and other operators.

With the update, advertisers can now deliver HD commercials targeted to different ad zones within 76 of the top 100 largest TV markets. Before, the Visible World system was limited to standard-definition ads that needed to be upconverted to HD resulting in the letterbox effect.

Most of the work involved collaborating with cable operators to make sure an ad in one of three formats -- standard-definition, 720p HD or 1080i HD -- was correctly mapped to the right network in each individual system's traffic and billing system, said Walt Horstman, Visible World senior vice president of media solutions.

Visible World operates the Adtag and Adcopy services for cable operators. Adtag allows advertisers take a single commercial and customize it based on a geographic location according to cable ad zones (for example, letting a retailer add the address or telephone number of each location based on where the segment is shown). Adcopy allows advertisers to simultaneously run different spots within a campaign, across separate zones in a market or region.

Visible World now has more than 90% of the Adtag and Adcopy markets upgraded to HD, Horstman said. New York-based Visible World also upgraded its central processing facility, where it performs automated tagging, production work and encoding.

Advertisers can buy zone-targeted campaigns through NCC Media, the spot-cable sales firm that sells local inventory on behalf of cable, satellite and telco TV providers, as well as the national sales organizations of the operators.

Horstman said the targeted HD ads have been adopted by programmers for tune-in spots and premium auto advertisers.

Auto advertisers typically target different car models to different zones in a market, based on demographic data such as average income for a given zone. Tune-in promo advertisers target using different channel positions, day and date, and other criteria.

Cablevision is using the household-addressable capabilities of Visible World's system -- which is separate from the Adtag and Adcopy service -- to deliver different ads to individual subscribers based on demographic data. The MSO 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.

The household-addressable system also now is capable of serving HD ads, Horstman said.