Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Addressable Advertising

CIMM is taking a pro-active role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both its Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with Set-Top Box data measurement) and recently released Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset terms). These documents form the basis of the Word-A-Week column which offers a common language for Set-Top Box nomenclature that can expedite the roll-out of the data for its many industry applications. 

CIMM commissioned a full scale analysis of the STB data landscape and roadmap  in late 2010. The concluding whitepaper prioritized four potential uses of STB data: local TV audience measurement, internal analysis for data originators, targeted and addressable advertising and national TV audience measurement. Last week we defined the term "Addressability." Today we discuss the concept of addressability in advertising messages.



STB data, with its larger footprint and second by second capability, holds great opportunity for those advertisers who want to better target specific consumer groups and for consumers who tire of ad messages that are irrelevant and do not apply to them. Currently, addressable advertising takes on many forms and has many custom approaches, making standardization of metrics difficult in the short term. But the hope is that there will be an industry effort focused on creating metrics and some standardize-able elements for measuring and comparing addressable advertising campaigns.

The following is a definition of addressable advertising, a direct use of the addressable potential of STB data:   

Addressable Advertising

See also: Advanced Advertising, Versioning

CIMM DEFINITION : Advertising that is directed to specific geographies or audiences to increase its relevance.


2 : "An advertisement sent to a specific home, Set-Top Box or geography." (Source: Nielsen Media Research) 

3 : "Specific video advertisements that target a set of audiences, homes, or Set-Top Boxes. Such targeting can be based on viewer information including thematic, geography, demographic, and /or behavioral data. Such targeting techniques can be applied to various video services including broadcast, SDV, DVR, and /or VOD program channels."  (Source: BigBand Networks)

4 : "An advertisement or interactive enhancement that is presented to a specific subset of STBs in the universe/footprint. Alternatively, a collection of advertisements or enhancements that are broadcast to the universe/footprint, from which a single advertisement and/or enhancement is individually selected and presented to each STB." (Source: FourthWall Media) 

NOTE - "There is a broad spectrum of addressability mechanisms. On one end is the Canoe CAAS architecture that selects a specific advertisement for every STB at each placement opportunity and inserts the chosen ad or enhancement into a custom stream for each STB. At the other end is the AdWidgets system from FourthWall Media, which embeds (binds) EBIF enhancements into spot ads, which are then broadcast to an entire footprint or zone, and once executing on the STB the EBIF enhancement makes a decision about whether or not to present itself on the current STB. (Source: FourthWall Media)   

NOTE - We define addressable advertising as the use of data sets to enable more targeted matches between messages and audiences than takes place in the current environment.  Addressable advertising can therefore occur at the national, regional, market, neighborhood, household, or individual level." (Source: Visible World)

NOTE - Addressable Advertising allows for multi-advertiser spots and is the foundation for interactivity. (Source: Invidi) 


Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.

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