Light Reading

Cox Eyes Addressable Ad Trials

Mari Silbey

Cox Media has a new targeted advertising plan in the works.

The advertising division of Cox Communications Inc. is about to begin trials with Invidi Technologies Corp. to deliver addressable ads into live linear television. A spokesperson confirmed that the trials are for linear TV only, and are not related to the operator's work with Canoe Ventures LLC to implement dynamic ad insertion (DAI) across its video-on-demand platform.

"Addressability creates a new class of premium television advertising inventory, which is why Cox Media is committed to bringing it to market as another tool for our clients to connect consumers to the products they care about," said Mike Zeigler, vice president of Cox Media operations and business development.

Invidi's technology works at the set-top level and uses demographic data to target individual households with relevant advertising. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) also started a trial with Invidi last year and is expected to go live with the new system in 2014. Additional customers include DirecTV, Dish, and Verizon.

Last fall, FierceCable reported that Cablevision would also test Invidi's solution as part of a settlement in a case that had Invidi suing the MSO for patent infringement. (See Comcast Preps Ad Targeting Trial.)

Cox, which currently serves more than 20 markets with advertising solutions across the US, is also a founding member of Canoe Ventures along with Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Bright House Networks . Canoe has slimmed down its advanced advertising ambitions in recent years and today is only focused on dynamic ad insertion for VoD.

A recent Heavy Reading report predicted that DAI will be in 40 million homes by the end of the year. (See Cable's Search for Advanced Advertising Treasure .)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2014 | 10:11:22 AM
Re: Tailoring ads
@KBode I believe there are some ways of tracking, say with unique landing pages tied to the targeted ads and such.
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2014 | 8:44:55 AM
Re: Tailoring ads
Yeah I'm waiting for that day as well. They've patened use of cameras in set top boxes (and via game console cameras like the Kinect), but I think privacy worries have kept those ambitions at bay. Still, we (as the general public) seem pretty ok with having our privacy eroded slowly so long as the cool gadgets keep coming, so I imagine your scenario won't be long out.

I'm also unsure how well these targeted ad concepts work. How many years and how many millions have cable operators already spent on this via ventures like Canoe? With Nielson still struggling to even incorporate digital devices into ratings how are  these things even effectively tracked?
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/26/2014 | 4:04:18 PM
Re: Tailoring ads
ScottEStewart0101 - "Seeing that Google Ads can't stop pushing browser ads to me for music albums I've already bought, I don't think these new targeted ads are going to have much effect with TV viewers, unless there's a camera and open mic scanning what is in a user's living room/bedroom, products mentioned, ect."

I can see it now: My TV will wake up and tell me, "You're wearing that shirt with those pants? Men's Wearhouse has much nicer choices -- and they're on sale!"
User Rank: Lightning
3/26/2014 | 3:45:25 PM
Re: Tailoring ads
Seeing that Google Ads can't stop pushing browser ads to me for music albums I've already bought, I don't think these new targeted ads are going to have much effect with TV viewers, unless there's a camera and open mic scanning what is in a user's living room/bedroom, products mentioned, ect. This would be a better venture for xBoxOne in my opinion. 

There are already regional ads on local network channels. Do they really think that consumers are going to like seeing ads in their menu/guide system? 
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/26/2014 | 2:52:53 PM
Tailoring ads
Addressable ads are an opportunity for marketers to particular consumer groups and potentially cut through advertising noise. But consumers may just look at them as MORE noise.

How specific can the targeting get? Can it target individuals?
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