How Horizon Media’s New Specialty TV Practice Will Help Advertisers

Group will vet buying options for clients

As its advertising clients grapple with the latest television advances, from programmatic to addressable, Horizon Media is offering them a lifeline.

The media agency has launched HorizonAdvanced—a specialty practice within its national television activation team—that will be focused on vetting and innovating advanced TV, programmatic television, addressable and data-infused linear buying options for its clients.

"It was too much for our standard buyers to take on their plate to investigate this whole new world, so we created this dedicated team to handle addressable TV, what we call programmatic TV, connected TVs and where that's going," said David Campanelli, svp, director of national broadcast. "These people are still actively buying linear TV as well, but we needed this center of expertise to be able to vet all those new companies and data sources that are popping up."

"Which of the vendors out there promising all these amazing things are actually legit, and which ones aren't? It's an enormous amount to figure out," said Campanelli, who created a team last year to address those issues. "We've been working in this space for a while, but we wanted to formalize it more. So, we had that center of expertise within the group."

HorizonAdvanced is a subset within Campanelli's national TV team. "Any client needs in this space get funneled through that team to be vetted," he said. "They're there to educate the team and vet what the opportunities are and help identify what's right for the client." He called it a "more formalized" version of "something we've been doing for over a year."

While agencies "have been very reactionary in the space" until now, Campanelli said, the new practice should change that.

"Formalizing it allows us to be in a much more proactive position," he said. "Whether we see a client fit or not today, it's all about understanding everything that's out there, where it's headed, who the best-in-class partners are, developing proprietary tools that will help us process this data and apply this data so we have our clients in a much better position moving forward than just reacting and playing catch-up."

HorizonAdvanced also will develop proprietary tools "to tackle the data sources coming out of this space," said Campanelli. "That's a big part of where we see the future going."