How Programmatic Can Amplify Your TV Buys

Programmatic buying has some seriously untapped creative potential, and the possibilities of targeting TV audiences online provide a great illustration of that potential.

Programmatic buying can be used to extend TV audiences to improve a cross-channel campaign. These audiences can be targeted in a number of different ways: by show, for example, target audiences of "Big Bang Theory"; by category, for example, target audiences of televised sports; by TV events, for example, target the Super Bowl audience; by daypart, for example, target day-time audiences; by custom segments that combine any of the above with first- or third-party data; and by viewership, for example, target light viewers of any of the above.

Targeting light TV viewers offers the most obvious benefit to advertisers -- incremental reach to TV campaigns -- so much so that just that one benefit of incremental reach generally makes programmatic TV audience extension worthwhile. But let’s consider some of the more creative ways this targeting can be put to use.



1. Continuing the momentum of a great story. In this Super Bowl commercial, Duracell told an inspiring story about the first legally deaf NFL fullback, Derrick Coleman. When it aired, Duracell had no assurance that Coleman would become a Super Bowl victor later that day. When the Seahawks won, congratulations from Duracell to Coleman could have made a powerful follow-on message. Programmatic makes it possible to build upon a game-time commercial with a post-game digital video ad.

2. Reaching audiences that will appreciate a celebrity spokesperson. When a TV star serves as the celebrity spokesperson in a commercial, it makes the perfect match for targeting TV audiences by show online. For example, actress Sofia Vergara has a long-running endorsement deal with Pepsi. Each time Pepsi releases a new Sofia Vergara commercial, it could use a programmatic audience extension capability to target fans of "Modern Family." Since Vergara stars in this show, its audience has a high likelihood of responding favorably to ads featuring her.

3. Reinforcing a televised PR moment. On the June 17 airing of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," comedian Kevin Hart made a guest appearance to promote the Sony Pictures movie, "Think Like a Man Too." Hart didn't have much time to talk about the movie because most of his airtime involved him and Fallon on a roller coaster ride with their eyes closed and jaws dropped. The resulting segment, now a viral video sensation, didn't even announce the title of the movie or that it is now playing. This is the perfect situation to use TV audience extension. The studio can target viewers of "The Tonight Show" with ads online in order to supplement the televised PR moment with a promotional message about the movie.

4. Winning a timeslot war. TV shows compete fiercely for tune-in during prime-time hours. Advertisers can win over existing prime-time viewers with programmatic. They would simply reach the audiences of competing shows online with video ads promoting their own show.

5. Reaching a very unique audience Sometimes an advertiser knows its audience well but can't find the perfect data-driven way to find them online. Targeting based on TV audiences can help. For example, consider a brand such as Pediasure that may want to reach the parents of picky eaters. They can get close to finding this audience by combining a TV audience extension with shopper data. For example, they could target adults in households that watch a lot of family programming who overindex on mac & cheese purchases.

These five possibilities illustrate just a small selection of the many ways that programmatic can effectively target TV audiences online. Buyers can be creative with their audience definitions, putting the full power of programmatic to use.

5 comments about "How Programmatic Can Amplify Your TV Buys".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, July 14, 2014 at 8:34 a.m.

    All very nice but highly theoretical. A few questions. How does programmatic TV buying actually target prime prospects when the data ----if "Big Data" is utilized----does not tell the system who is watching? And how does the buyer's "trading desk" deal with the upfront where there is no audience data----only guesstimates for the many new shows and oldies in new time slots? Whose guesstimates does it use and how does it monitor performance and make all of the required adjustments, re-negotiations, etc. as the season unfolds.? And what happens when the buyer's trading desk tells its network counterpart -----based on a "Big Data" analysis-----that it only wants to buy time on certain shows---or program type genres----only to find that this is not permitted? How does the "buyer" get around the network's practice of bundling a lot of so-so shows or outright flops in with its "desirable" entries?

  2. Ronan Higgins from TVadSync, July 14, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.

    Statistics and probabilities. 80-85% of mobile web/app users are in front of a television during primetime hours (sad but true). So 80-85% of inventory delivered is to TV audiences.

    In many countries, two or three television channels will dominate primetime audience share. For example, in Ireland RTE One holds 22% of audience, RTE Two 13%. In Holland RTL 5 and Nederland 3 dominate viewership.

    If you synchronise online ad delivery to the airing of ads on the dominant channels in a market, you are statistically targeting to the TV audience. This can be further targeted by program/show type or demographic.

    TVadSync sees consistent lift in creatives performance on direct response and brand KPIs from this probablistic methodology.

  3. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, July 14, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.

    This programmatic crap is way past its 15 minutes of fame. Of course, given the fraud factor of 50%+, perhaps a half-hour is a more reasonable lifespan. That sound you hear is the echo in the halls of the next RTB exchange to bite the dust. Advertisers who support this foolishness deserve exactly what they don't get.

  4. Sheldon Senzon from JMS Media, Inc., July 14, 2014 at 2:16 p.m.

    Ed and Mike are right on the money. I think it's time to tell a bunch of over-empowered kids to grow up. Yes, technology is an important asset and will only continue to grow over time but please......turn the baseball caps around and do some homework.

  5. Volker Ballueder from cb consulting , July 15, 2014 at 4:45 a.m.

    I understand people's concern re the viewership and direct link between TV and 2nd screen device. Yet, as Ronan pointed out nicely, the probability is key.
    Extending your offline audience into online and being able to later sync real cookie data against your TV viewer ship is what makes it exciting.
    Isn't it all about reach and increased ROI?

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