Imagine what a difference it would make to an automobile company to have the ability to broadcast their television ads for mini-vans only to those consumers with children and run their spots for the new two door sports model only to single males. What if specific demographics could be singled out by income level, age, gender and geographic location? Consider a small manufacturer of hearing aids that doesn’t have the budget to advertise on television to the public at large – what if their advertising dollars could be streamlined to target only seniors in a certain income bracket? Or a diaper company that can target only families with small children? How would you feel as a consumer to only have to endure those commercials that are relevant to your lifestyle – like never having to sit at home with your kids and watch another Viagra ad?
Addressable TV is all about using data and technology to put a more relevant TV ad in front of the right person at the right time. It’s about less squandering of advertising budgets on audiences with no relevance to the product. Previous purchase habits and behaviors become translated into a message that is more addressable and personal to specific consumer groups. This is in sharp contrast to traditional television advertising that is perceived to be non-selective and expensive. As more channels become available, audiences are increasingly fragmented, spread over wide selections of channels and other media, paving the way for more specific messages to more specific consumers.
Another impetus for the shift into addressable advertising is occurring as a result of online advertising’s demand for accountability. Therefore it is ironic that Google is pioneering the shift in this offline medium. Google among others have been testing the waters and the fact that they continue to push forward and expand their tests after positive results show that the trend might soon become mainstream.