Sky and Virgin team up to make super-targeted advertising platform

Sky and Virgin Media have announced a new advertising partnership in an attempt to combat the drain of cash towards internet players such as Facebook and Google.

The partnership itself will focus across both traditional broadcast and also the Video on Demand (VOD) services. Combining the two portfolios will allow advertisers to target a potential audience over time of more than 30 million viewers, which the newly formed pair claims put them on par with social media networks. By estimates of Statista, Facebook has an audience of over 37 million in the UK.

“Quality programming deserves to be supported with quality advertising” said Virgin Media’s Chief Executive Tom Mockridge.

“In partnering with Sky we’re putting the UK and Ireland at the forefront of TV advertising innovation. We’re giving consumers advertising that is more relevant to them and giving brands a trusted destination to deliver intelligent, tailored TV campaigns to a targeted audience.”

“TV remains the most effective and trusted advertising medium there is and continues to innovate at pace” said Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Group Chief Operating Officer.

“Addressable TV is the high quality, brand safe and transparent medium that leading brands have already been adopting in their thousands. Today’s partnership takes that to the next level with the extension of AdSmart to millions more homes meaning more relevant ads for Virgin customers and a larger platform for advertisers.”

Through the partnership, Virgin Media will be able to make use of Sky’s AdSmart technology which can allow advertisers to go into some impressive detail with their targeting. If you want to, you could advertise to first-time mum’s who have a south facing garden in Bristol, or Telegraph-reading, fashion-conscious male, with a second-mortgage and a car which is older than 12 years.

While it might seem very stalkerish, it is an impressive tool which would be considered very attractive to advertisers on a budget. It also creates a similar proposition to what social media giants such as Facebook, have created with their own walled garden.

Sky AdSmart uses an algorithm that helps to make sure that ads play out when a chosen audience is most likely to be watching. The measurements also seems to be a bit kinder when it comes to impressions. An impression is only counted once an ad has been seen for 75% or more, at normal viewing speed. Definitions of an impression vary greatly in the online world, though not many meet this criteria. The minimum spend for a campaign is £3000.

TV advertising used to be the pinnacle. It used to mean you had made it in the big-time as a brand. But then the internet came along with measurable metrics and spoilt the obnoxious party. Maybe this concentrated advertising platform can help advertisers fall in love with the small screen again.

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