Black Arrow Tech Controls Household Ad Time Cross-Platform

A major complaint by marketers -- and viewers -- in this new digital/media world: Too much repetition when it comes to seeing the same ad over and over.

TV advertising system manager/provider BlackArrow has added an update to its Advance Advertising System with an “audience-based frequency capping” component, allowing clients to set limits on the number of times an ad is seen by a household on any device by the day, week, month, or throughout an entire ad campaign.

With too many ad exposures, marketers run the risk of lower overall effectiveness of its message. In particular, the new component can help control TV viewer exposures, says BlackArrow.

Online advertising sites use cookies to keep track of frequency counts. But there are no cookies for TVs and traditional set-top boxes.

“The future of TV is bringing high-quality TV content to viewers when and where they want to watch it,” stated Jacob Naim, vice president, product management at BlackArrow. “To monetize this content, the industry needs tools that can deliver targeted, frequency-controlled, dynamic ads to both TVs and IP-based devices.”

BlackArrow has developed what amounts to a “server-side cookie.” Says Naim: “Ad servers can then check this frequency count when a TV, set-top box or device requests an ad and ensure the frequency capping rules are respected.”

BlackArrow’s advanced advertising software system, used by on-demand and linear programmers delivered to TV and devices over traditional or IP (internet protocol) infrastructures, reaches nearly 32 million homes.

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2 comments about "Black Arrow Tech Controls Household Ad Time Cross-Platform".
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc , August 19, 2014 at 3:29 p.m.
    Interesting but I'm not sure I get how this translates to conventional TV buys. When an advertiser buys traditional TV it is understood that some viewers are going to consume a lot more than their share of commercial "impressions" while light viewers are exposed to many fewer ads. That's the way it goes. You can't wave a magic wand and change things so easily. Assuming that we ignore the distinction between set usage and viewing and treat the two as identical----which they are not----- if the "limit" for exposure is set at four and this "cap" is somehow applied, it will go almost exclusively against heavy viewers who account for 40-50% of a typical TV advertiser's audience "tonnage". Hence, all that would be accomplished is a major reduction in the advertiser's overall media "weight". How would this be accounted for by the buyers and sellers? Would the latter be asked to give rebates because too many of their impressions went to heavy viewers and, consequently, were "blocked"? Would advertisers be advised to slash their media spending to avoid "excess frequency against heavy viewers? Also, we should remember that heavy viewers are heavily----or "excessively" ----exposed to all TV ad campaigns, not just those of a single advertiser. If one advertiser was able to dramatically reduce the number of times his ad was "seen" by heavy viewers while competing brands kept up their "redundant" barrage of ads, isn't there a risk of losing "share of voice" against TV's hordes of "couch potatoes"---which might impact negatively on sales? Leaving traditional TV to muddle on as before, it is obvious that the primary application of this frequency capping system----which sounds like a good idea if excessive exposures can be re-directed to normally light viewers---- is in the digital video arena. Here, at least, it seems possible that some measure of frequency control might be effected-----assuming that the digital audience will obey the advertiser's dictates and obediently watch every time a commercial is presented, until the "correct" frequency level is attained.
  2. Melanie Nottingham from BlackArrow , August 20, 2014 at 7:58 p.m.
    Great points Ed. One quick clarification is that this particular capability applies to ads delivered via dynamic ad insertion (DAI) as opposed to conventional TV advertising. DAI is currently supported by many major pay-TV providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Rogers and Bright House Networks.