Advanced Advertising: GroupM's Bologna: Addressable Ads Finally Resembling Scale

At B&C/MCN event, says technology will reach 15 million by year's end
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New York -- After six years of everyone in the industry
talking about it, including himself, Michael Bologna, director of emerging
communications for GroupM, said addressable advertising is finally starting to
resemble scale.

"By the end of this current year, we could see scale in
addressable advertising upwards of 15 million and that's important to our
business," Bologna said at B&C/Multichannel News' Advanced Advertising
event here Tuesday afternoon.

Bologna calls the ability to target not just core
demographics, but specific households and eventually individual viewers "the
holy grail of television," with improved targeting and reducing waste equaling
a better return on investment for advertisers. But to achieve real scale, that
15 million households will have to grow to 40 million, to the point where all
DVR boxes have addressable capability, he says.

"Only then will we be able to take a commercial that was
purchased nationally and divide it and cut it up addressably across all the
participating systems," Bologna said in a Q&A with B&C Business Editor Jon Lafayette.

But achieving that scale is going to take more than just
time, especially working with advertisers who are used to a traditional cost
per thousand basis. With hyper-targeting, Bologna has found the planning  -- who to reach, how often, etc. - to be the
hardest part of the process.

"There's nothing quick, short or easy about coming up with a
targeting scenario," he said.

Another major hurdle is that interactive advertising still
lives within each local cable operator system, requiring advertisers to rebuy
networks and programs they already own nationally to support the interactive
functionality. It's a problem that companies like Canoe Ventures have tried to
solve, so far with limited success, though Bologna did offer some kind words to
the beleaguered company Tuesday.

"People give Canoe a hard time. At the end of the day, their
model still is what national advertisers are asking for," he said. "They will
get there, in a little bit while longer they will give everyone what they set
out to do."

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