I think TV commercials generally suck and rarely hold my attention. My favorite commercials of the year run during the Super Bowl when a 30-second spot costs, what, $2 million-plus to advertise? But even then, ads may be funny but aren’t personalized to me.
I’m a single guy living in my own place — but do you want to guess how many times I’ve seen TV commercials advertising tampons, diapers, beauty care products, tobacco patches, and college preparatory classes, none of which are applicable to my lifestyle?
Maybe you’ve seen similar commercials that are fun to look at but have nothing to do with you. Have you ever wondered if you could control the advertising you saw on TV?
It doesn’t have to be limited to commercials; imagine watching a music award show and voting, via a TV remote control, what song a performer would sing next. Have you ever wondered, nay, wished that you could control what you watch?
Wish and wonder no more because the six largest cable television companies in the United States are eager to satisfy your cravings — by offering relevant advertising.
Meet David Verklin, the chief executive of a new conglomerate of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Bright House Networks. For about a year, the six firms had met once a month to determine the best plan of attack for Project Canoe, now called Canoe Ventures.
Their goal was to enable advertisers to buy targeted and customized ads, mash together geography and demography, and offer different versions of the same company’s product line to different consumers.
In a recent interview with David Kaplan of paidContent.org, Verklin explains what he calls creative versioning:
This is a very simple product. It uses existing cable zone technology, where we overlay the 1,200 cable zones in the U.S. with demographics. Using a U.S. census map or an Experian map, we can convert geography to demography. This product will allow us to take one spot on say, ESPN, and in that spot, a marketing like Citibank, in households above $125,000 in personal annual income, can run a brokerage commercial; from $125,000 to $150,000, a home equity loan creative spot; and for households under $50,000 in income, a free checking spot. So that’s purchasing one spot, but allowing the insert of three creative versions.
In this 3-minute video courtesy of AdWeek, Verklin elaborates on shifting television from medium to platform:
I think this sounds great and I await the introduction in early 2009. Now if only Google can offer a similar service, the subject of my next article…
What do you think about TV advertising? Do you watch it? Are there certain stations that captivate you more than others?