Earlier this year, DirecTV took a step into the future of TV advertising. Rather than let marketers target only shows and geographic markets, it allowed them to zero in on specific audiences — down to the individual home.
“The way our technology works, I can literally take a 30-second TV commercial, I can insert it into a commercial pod and I can target that commercial to the household level,” said DirecTV Exec VP Paul Guyardo. “We don’t serve up the impression until we know the TV is on and the viewer is watching,” he said. “The show doesn’t matter. It’s the audience.”
After years of resisting change, the industry is beginning to sell commercials with an emphasis on precise audience targeting, similar to how ads are sold online. The practice, still in early days, can’t yet reach every household and has been primarily adopted by TV-service providers. But the tech has finally arrived, and it’s poised to play a big role as the industry gets used to it.