Adobe Testing Cross-Device Personalized Video Ads

Brands can separate spots by device, audience segment

An ad is not an ad is not an ad—particularly when shown across TV, online, tablet and smartphone—even when created by the same advertiser. A brand like Coke may have one main TV spot that it shows to broad audiences like those watching the Olympics on their big-screen, but why show that same spot to the individuals checking out the competition on their smartphones if the brand doesn't have to? What if it can show them a better ad?

That's at least the premise of Adobe's video content-and-advertising platform Project Primetime, which handled the live-streaming for this year's Summer Games.

Adobe unveiled Project Primetime—the fruit of last year's Auditude acquisition—back in February but has staggered its rollout throughout the year. The latest additions may be its most important yet. Now, via a product called Adobe MediaWeaver, publishers, media companies and app developers flow ads into live, linear and on-demand videos, and the new Primetime Media Player ties together everything together into a single content distribution mechanism.

That should make things more efficient for advertisers and media companies. But the bigger potential may lie in Adobe's ability to bundle together Project Primetime with its SiteCatalyst and AudienceManager products—enabling brands to see how consumers are responding to videos and video ads. Taken all together, Project Primetime means Adobe can bring display like ad targeting and segmenting to video, across different platforms.

For example, Coke might develop separate spots appealing to moms, kids and young adults. Rather than guess at which devices those audiences might be watching a show on and contextually target them, Coke could make sure that a mom watching the Olympics on her tablet would see an ad that’s different from the one shown to a teenager watching on her iPod Touch and also different from the one shown to a twentysomething watching on Xbox.

During a preview dinner with journalists Tuesday night, Adobe executives made clear that Project Primetime is still in beta, so it’s early to prognosticate on its potential. But one possibility Adobe execs acknowledged was the ability to bid on these video audiences in real-time, as is increasingly the case in online display advertising.

By running its own ad insertion tool with MediaWeaver as well as its own video player, Adobe could put one 30-second spot up for auction and let advertisers compete for which device and audience they would want to reach. In the aforementioned Coke example, Procter & Gamble might outbid the soda company for moms, and Disney might win the teenager, but Coke could grab the twentysomething—or all three consumer segments when found watching on their computers.

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