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.

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