Addressable Ads: GroupM Taps TidalTV

Irwin Gotlieb of Group M

As it looks to experiment further with addressable advertising, GroupM has inked a deal with an effective middleman in the process: TidalTV. The tech company helps deliver ads to a particular target, and is expected to begin doing so for GroupM early next year.

Cable and satellite operators looking to drive revenues via advanced advertising have turned to companies such as Visible World, Navic and Invidi to establish platforms to deliver different spots to different demos at the same time.

TidalTV, in turn, works with advertisers such as GroupM to help them capitalize on those opportunities -- using complex data-processing and algorithms to determine which ads would have the most impact on a particular audience. The company is referred to as a yield optimization specialist.

TidalTV gathers information about audiences during programming. And then in real-time, it feeds relevant spots into the households, using the ad-serving platforms deployed by the operators.



GroupM would have provided TidalTV with a group of spots to deliver to the various targets.

The TidalTV system could deliver ads for different GroupM clients -- say, an automaker and a bank, during the same 30-second space. Or, it could match ads with audiences for different brands from the same advertiser. So for Unilever, a spot for Axe could be aimed at young men, while one for mayonnaise is targeted at middle-aged mothers.

Irwin Gotlieb, global CEO, GroupM, states that the effort will "keep GroupM at the forefront as we act to exploit the increasing targetability of the television segment." GroupM (or another agency or advertiser) is not limited in how many spots it can provide TidalTV with to stream to different targets.

At the moment, however, it appears that the infrastructure is only in place for the addressable ads to land in a limited number of homes, since they run in inventory owned by a particular cable or satellite distributor.

"The holy grail is to make this a national platform, not just based off of the footprints that individual MSOs might have," says Mark McKee, TidalTV's vice president of marketing.

TidalTV's CEO is Scott Ferber, who sold to AOL. The company started by serving targeted ads within Web video streams and is now shifting into TV, where GroupM is its first client.

GroupM, part of WPP, has stakes in Visible World and Invidi. If TidalTV can ease addressable advertising, that would seem to fuel those two businesses.

"(Often) the audience that sees a television ad isn't the intended target," says Ryan Jamboretz, GroupM's director of corporate development. "That's been the accepted norm. [TV] is a very evocative medium and a very powerful medium, and a lot of great brands have been built on it. But technologies evolving as they have, there are opportunities to improve upon it."

2 comments about "Addressable Ads: GroupM Taps TidalTV".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 7, 2009 at 8:59 a.m.

    2% is a respectable toe-hold. Don't expect it to stay a tiny sliver of viewing. DVR penetration was 2% a couple years after its introduction and the mantra was "no big deal." Now DVRs stand at 33 percent penetration and very few people are whistling in the dark anymore.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 7, 2009 at 9 a.m.

    sorry, wrong article for my last comment

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