Comcast, SMV bring addressable advertising to Charm City


Comcast Spotlight, the ad sales division of Comcast Cable, and Starcom MediaVest Group announced the expansion of their agreement to test addressable TV advertising with a trial scheduled to launch in Q3 in the Baltimore area.  The companies also shared findings of a recently completed groundbreaking trial of addressable advertising technology, designed to make television advertising more relevant for viewers and more accountable for advertisers.

The initial technical trial, which began in December 2006, took place in Huntsville, AL. Comcast successfully delivered thousands of ads, across eight popular cable networks, addressed to different anonymous groups of households based on general characteristics selected by the trial’s participating advertisers.

 “Addressable advertising gets us closer to the power of mass personalization by delivering highly relevant brand messages to engaged consumers, and this is the ideal connection in a world of scarce consumer attention,” said Laura Desmond, CEO-The Americas at Starcom MediaVest Group.

Major marketers active in the trial, all SMG agency clients, included General Motors, Discover Card, Hallmark, Kraft Foods, Mars, Miller Brewing Company and Procter & Gamble. One of the unprecedented capabilities demonstrated in this trial was advertisers were able to segment the market into audiences based on demographic data, and Comcast was able to deliver relevant ads for the advertisers’ products and services to each segment.

The trial revealed that viewers who saw ads directed to households within a particular group were less likely to change channels.  Comcast and SMG found that, overall, homes receiving addressable advertising tuned away 38% less of the time available than homes that received non-addressable advertising.