In a deal that has the potential to sharply alter the model for the way TV ads are bought and sold, Interpublic Group’s Cadreon is bringing its demand-side Internet ad platform approach to cable via an agreement with tech company Visible World. That firm’s targeted television platform now reaches 100 million households across the U.S.
The two companies have been working since late last year to sync up the two systems in a way that will enable Cadreon to offer clients the same kind of dynamic ad-serving capability on cable TV that it has been providing to its Internet advertisers.
Targeted TV advertising technology has been in development for years, but the industry has been slow on adoption, with most of the action occurring at the local cable level. (Visible World said that 200 advertisers have used its system, usually in deals that cover just a handful of markets.) Experts say that part of the problem is that national networks haven’t figured out how to fully exploit a targeted TV business model.
“I always thought the first massive one of these agreements would come from one of the traditional TV networks,” seeking to offer a more efficient ad platform, said Seth Haberman, CEO of Visible World. Now it appears that the buy side may spur the industry to action. “These guys [at Cadreon] sprung like Athena out of Zeus fully formed and said we need a new set of wheels to work in TV.”
Haberman believes that trading desks at other big ad shops may serve as additional catalysts for growth in the addressable world. Cadreon TV is making the single biggest effort in the space to date, he said. “For the first time you’ll see real scale [in the targeted space] with hundreds of ads seen by millions of people, all determined by algorithms and data as opposed to human instinct,” Haberman said.
The new Cadreon TV offering will be fully rolled out through the Visible World footprint within three months, according to Cadreon CEO Brendan Moorcroft.
Visible World “brings an infrastructure for ad serving to TV not unlike what Atlas or Doubleclick do” for the Internet, said Moorcroft. “It allows us to apply intelligence for TV buying like you do for the Internet.”
Cadreon TV has been working with one of IPG’s major auto clients to test the new service’s capabilities over the past several months. One technique is to track Web users who appear to be researching new car purchases and then using the Visible World platform to place TV ads in front of those same users. Other advertisers will be coming on board shortly, per Moorcroft.
Moorcroft declined to identify the advertisers. But in a statement being issued shortly on the Visible World deal, IPG reports that Cadreon sibling Universal McCann “has assumed additional creative production responsibilities for the automotive client to take full advantage of Cadreon TV to increase strategic influence on the media planning process with the goal of increasing dealer traffic and driving sales.”
IPG added, “This integrated approach represents a major shift in the holding company’s strategy to bring these advanced solutions to market for clients, which will dramatically impact market adoption.”
Late last year when UM won the Chrysler account, the agency and the client confirmed that the scope of work included creative retail chores for the carmaker’s major brands including Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram. Discussing the assignment in January, UM CEO Matt Seiler said that the “communication requirements and the integration needs and so on suggested . . . housing [those creative retail duties] in one place to support all four brands was just smarter.”
While the traditional ad buying model for TV focuses on audiences to channels and programs, targeted approaches focus on aggregating audiences who engage in certain types of purchase behavior or Web usage or who have similarities like owning a pet. “It’s about selecting the right messages to put in front of those audiences,” said Moorcroft.
The Visible World system offers a “substantial opportunity to shift money from national to local” media, said Moorcroft. “The efficiency of running national is now going to be questioned because you can now be more effective by localizing a message and buying locally without the penalty of a premium.”
See also: “What’s Delaying Ad Addressability?”