GroupM, Dish Team For Addressable Ad Trials

Canoe and its cable partners couldn’t do it, but satellite programmer Dish and WPP’s GroupM claim they can deliver household addressable advertising on a large scale.

In fact, the pair said they have been doing it successfully in trials with nearly a dozen advertisers to more than 7 million homes since last October. A trial at that level of scale is a first for the industry, Dish and GroupM claimed.

“These trial campaigns with Dish demonstrate our ability to identify a specific target audience and deliver to them a relevant message, thus reducing unwanted impressions,” stated Michael Bologna, GroupM managing partner and director of emerging communications. “Household-addressable advertising in a television universe, long considered a ‘holy grail,’ is finally starting to become a practical reality.”

GroupM clients, such as ConAgra, Mattel and Comcast-owned NBC Universal, are believed to be among those who participated in the pilot program. However, GroupM and Dish declined to identify any of the specific advertisers involved.

The trial partners did say the marketers participating in the addressable ad trials included a variety of categories, including packaged goods and financial service providers.

Tech firm Invidi provided the technolgy that drove the addressable ad platform. GroupM is one of a number of companies (including Google and NBCU) that have made financial investments in the tech company.



“GroupM strongly believes that addressable technology and advanced advertising functionality are critical to the future of television and other media,” Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO of GroupM, said when the shop participated in a $23 million round of financing for Invidi two years ago.

“This is a game-changer for Dish, advertisers and marketers,” stated Warren Schlichting, senior vice president of Dish Media Sales. “The GroupM campaigns have proven that our addressable product affords more control and efficiency to advertisers. We see an improved viewer experience with the delivery of more relevant ads, and marketers benefit by putting their product in front of a more receptive audience.”

Ironically, another recent Dish innovation allows viewers to zap ads as they’re watching commercial-supported TV in DVR playback mode. The news made headlines a few months ago, and one major agency -- Starcom -- decided to break off talks with the satellite provider on a major addressable ad deal.

That said, Dish is betting that more relevant ads via addressability will keep more viewers from pressing the zap button as frequently.

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