Back in the day, I took a class that required me to select different television channels and keep a log of the commercials for each, highlighting the way advertisers target their audience. SPIKE commercials included advertisements for men’s razors, beer, gym equipment infomercials and action movie previews. Lifetime commercials included advertisements for diet-friendly foods, women’s shaving cream, and so on. TV commercials are targeted by mass market. Even with marketing and advertising strategies, commercials still manage to reach the wrong target audience. How many times have you zoned out or even changed the channel during a commercial because it just simply did not apply to you?
Pause and think about the types of advertisements you see on websites – especially on social media sites such as Facebook (News - Alert). Sometimes they are scarily right on point. Technology and advertisement people are constantly pulling data from us to find out the best ways to reach us through these advertisements, and eventually intrigue us enough to click on these windows. It’s about time television hopped on this bandwagon of personally targeted commercials.
Gracenote (News - Alert), a provider of advanced media identification, management, discovery and enrichment solutions, has come up with a new ad replacement system that is able to personalize TV commercials, set to begin trials in 2013. The system will show different people different commercials during the same timeframe, using a smart TV or set top box running the ad replacement technology to use video fingerprinting similar to the company’s music technology to identify what the viewer is watching and when the show was about to show a commercial. This is also integrated with data about gender, age, income and whether you rent or own your home.
Images via TechCrunch
The data is used to determine what TV commercials are appealing to you. Once the tech chooses the best commercial for you, it’s delivered via an IP-based delivery engine and a version of the Opera browser overlays the new ad over the default commercial aired on TV. The browser then automatically closes when the commercial finishes and returns you to the show you are watching.
The targeted commercials are expected to fetch higher prices and help enlarge the $70 billion TV ad market. According to TechCrunch, the technology could shift the balance of power in TV ads by giving TV makers a seat at the table with broadcasters and advertisers.
Gracenote ad replacement could also usher in much more accurate metrics about ad performance, like if viewers actually watched an ad or skipped through it. Gracenote President Stephen White suggested consumers might one day be able to take an active role in what ads they see or if they see them at all. “You could start to set up profiles based on what you care about. If you’re about to take a trip to Hawaii you could set it to only show you ads about things in Hawaii,” White told TechCrunch.
TV might even end up mirroring the premium, ad-free options on popular Web services. White imagines the option to pay $20 to see no ads and instead opt to see personal photos. The company will demo the system at the upcoming CES (News - Alert) 2013 and then hopes to ship production units later in the year.
One thing is for sure – everything you see on the Web, your phone and your television set is about to get way more personal.
Edited by Jamie Epstein