Saturday 20 October 2018

Sky's smart way to deliver TV ads

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AA Ireland’s head of marketing Laura Conlon-McKenna with Mulligan, the star of its next television campaign
AA Ireland’s head of marketing Laura Conlon-McKenna with Mulligan, the star of its next television campaign
Sky Media Ireland sales director Malcolm Murray

Michael Cullen

Sky's AdSmart targeted audience technology has delivered almost 60 Irish campaigns across 30 advertisers since its launch last May. The idea behind AdSmart is to make TV ads more relevant for brands that may not have used TV up to now. Sky Media Ireland's new sales director Malcolm Murray told AdLib that one in four AdSmart users in the Republic were new to TV.

AdSmart allows various ads to be shown in different households watching the same show. It allows Irish brand owners to advertise on national channels, but to segmented audiences - opening TV to niche brands, SMEs and location-specific advertisers. Clients cherry-pick their audiences using combinations of geographical and lifestyle characteristics.

Core's group investment director Frankie Carty said while the segments in the UK have trebled from 400 at launch three years ago to the current 1,200, AdSmart only amounts to single digits in terms of total Sky ad revenue. Carty believes that AdSmart appeals to two ends of the market.

There's the big TV advertiser with multiple pieces of copy and the need to address specific regional or business tasks. The second cohort is the small, local advertiser. "The size of this market is always going to bring limitations to the segmentation targeting brands can achieve," he added.

Murray says most AdSmart advertisers have used 43 location and lifestyle targeting provided by Experian's Mosaic data. He points to two case studies, one for the launch of the Nissan Qashqai as part of a wider TV campaign, and the other for 3Dental's TV debut. By exposing the right audience, more often and with a more specific message, the two advertisers earned higher than normal TV dividends.

Adsmart is seen by adland as the first step on the road to delivering mass communication to a targeted audience. Sky is said to have invested over €100m in its roll out in five markets - the UK, Austria, Germany, Italy and Ireland. Carty says once the Sky and Virgin platforms are actively selling the tech, it will be good news for advertisers.

However, when this is likely to happen remains to be seen. Programmatic buying has impacted digital ads substantially in recent years.

The next step is for it to make an impact in the traditional TV space. eMarketer predicts about 5pc of the TV market in the US will use programmatic tech by next year. It may seem modest, but over time it should grow substantially. Only time will tell its true impact on the local market.

- The AA is sticking with dogs for its next TV campaign. Following the positive reaction to its insurance ads with Mulligan, the feisty little dog and Brady family owner, another canine gets a starring role. Butch (Cassidy) will be to try to entice consumers to sign up to AA home insurance when he takes to our TV screens in May. AA Ireland's head of marketing Laura Conlon-McKenna says Javelin, Windmill Lane and Zenith did the work on a good job.

-  Indeed's senior director of corporate branding, Paul Dervan, has his work cut out on the lecture front. Firstly, he'll be one of four speakers addressing a breakfast seminar on business growth in Vizeum next Thursday. The others are ex-rugby international Gordon D'Arcy, Stripe head of growth Claire O'Mahony and Vizeum MD Conor Murphy.

Client-agency relationships come under the microscope at a Marketing Society breakfast seminar. Dervan will be joined by Patrick Hickey, CEO of Rothco, and pitch doctor Una Herlihy. The topic under discussion is whether or not what's happening in adland is an evolution or revolution. The event is in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel on Golden Lane at 7.30am on Wednesday, April 25.

Developing a reputation as an employer pays off. Gillian Horan, CEO of The Pudding, claims Irish businesses can attract better talent, slash costs by half and reduce staff churn by a third when they develop a strong employer brand. Research by Indeed on the 'Best Place to Work in Ireland' list puts Dell at number one for the second year in a row. Apple, Comfort Keepers, Next and Google made up the top five.

-  Agricultural services group Ifac has signed up as the sponsor of RTÉ's 'Big Week on the Farm' series. Ella McSweeney and Áine Lawlor will descend on the O'Sullivan family's dairy farm in Dungarvan Bay next week, amid spring calving. The pair will be joined by different celebrity presenters over the five nights. Comedian, actress and talented dancer Deirdre O'Kane is first on the farm at 7pm next Monday.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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