AT&T Tests Cross-Screen Advertising With AdWorks

New platform taps DirecTV homes for better targeting

AT&T is ready to roll out its first advertising product since it closed its acquisition of DirecTV three months ago.

AT&T AdWorks, the telecom giant's advertising sales wing (which now includes DirecTV's advertising operations) has partnered with Opera Mediaworks to offer clients the ability to have the same campaign run across television and mobile.

"The industry has been talking about cross-screen for years, and the screen that's always been conspicuously absent is the TV screen," Mike Welch, head of strategy and product at AT&T AdWorks, told Adweek.  "For the first time, certainly at scale, we're now able to tie a specific target household on TV with the mobile devices associated with that same target household."

The trial—which is currently offered to three unnamed Fortune 500 companies—links AT&T's 12 million addressable TV homes with the mobile devices associated with those homes, regardless of their wireless carrier. Welch says that one of those three has completed their campaign while the two others are in various stages of development. AT&T plans to take the product to market during the first half of next year.

"Integrated marketing across TV, smartphones and tablets puts influential new tools in the hands of brands and agencies. They can now tell a seamless story to their target audiences at home and on the go," said Mahi de Silva, CEO, Opera Mediaworks, in a statement.

Opera Mediaworks can engage more than 285 million mobile subscribers from major U.S. wireless carriers. Welch says the program will be able to use Opera's location data—the majority of Opera's ad-serving is via mobile apps—to tie ad exposure across the screens to actual physical location data. Those using the apps are opting-in to share that data.

"As eyeballs shift away from a TV screen on to mobile devices, we're able to find those consumers that are still within that advertisers target audience," said Welch.