Channel 4 allows brands to personalise video ads with people’s names

The advertising ‘first’ will debut with video-on-demand (VoD) ads for the new Alien Covenant film.

Channel 4 has announced a new VoD ad format, which was developed by video tech firm Innovid, that allows advertisers to incorporate the first names of viewers into their ads.

Among the launch partners for the supposedly “groundbreaking” format are Foster’s and 20th Century Fox, with the latter utilising it for its new horror prequel Alien Covenant (see above).

So how does it all work? Well, any of All 4’s 15 million registered users who watch an Alien Covenant trailer ad while signed in on a web browser will see personalised messages asking them to “Run…” followed by their first name.

Fosters, meanwhile, will share a video with a pint that ends with the slogan “this one’s for you” followed by the user’s first name.

“Following the success of the multiple brands taking advantage of our Ad 4 You format, we’re now incredibly excited to offer the market something completely ground breaking,” says David Amodio, Channel 4’s digital and creative leader.

“The most attention grabbing word for anyone to hear is without doubt one’s own name, so to be able to offer advertisers the chance to speak directly to our millions of viewers is not just unique, but an immensely powerful marketing tool which adds even more value to All 4’s increasingly personalised experience.”

If the trial is a success, a Channel 4 spokesperson says the plan is to extend the format beyond the web browser and onto the All 4 TV app as well.

In 2016, Channel 4 claims it saw a 30% rise in digital revenues. This isn’t the first time Channel 4 has tried to push a new personalised TV ad format either. In 2015, it debuted TV campaigns that showed the individual names of some of its viewers on bottles of Coca-Cola and Burberry perfume bottles.