Sky AdSmart tailors the spots shown in live TV ad breaks according to a Sky customer’s household profile and location. The granular level of targeting is likely to increase as the service matures.
It works by Sky sending a library of ads via satellite to the hard disc of a customer’s Sky+ HD set-top box and tailoring the ads based on their postcode and demographic information from third-party providers, including data service company Experian.
Sky says it has countered privacy concerns associated by AdSmart by contacting its customers by letter in 2011 to inform them of the benefits of the service and giving them an option to opt out.
Major advertisers such as American Airlines, Littlewoods, RBS, Tesco and Audi and local advertisers including insurance group First Central and Hampshire car dealer Hendy Group began trialling the service six months ago. Additional advertisers including Citroen and Dial-A-Flight will begin using the service when it officially launches next month.
Sky says a quarter of the brands signed up for Sky AdSmart are either new to TV advertising or had previously left the market, such as Nestle’s confectionery brand Polo.
Andrew Griffith, Sky’s managing director of commercial businesses and chief financial officer, says: “With Sky AdSmart, we want to make TV advertising work better for viewers and advertisers. By enabling advertisers to better segment the TV audience, Sky AdSmart has the potential to open up TV advertising to many more brands and businesses. This helps both the brands that perviously thought TV too broad a medium, as well as local advertisers who felt that TV wasn’t previously accessible to them.”
To support the launch of AdSmart Sky has expanded its dedicated sales team, creating 18 new roles.