Sky and Virgin Media are burying the hatchet to launch a major data-driven TV advertising partnership designed to challenge the dominance of social media, amid claims that businesses both big and small will be able to target a potential audience of more than 30 million viewers.
With the aim of exploiting growing concerns over the safety of digital channels, the once bitter rivals will use targeting technology, underpinned by in-depth customer data, and aim to transform the scale of addressable TV advertising in the UK and Ireland, giving brands the ability to target audiences on the “brand safe” environment of TV.
The partnership covers both targeted linear and video on demand (VOD) TV advertising across both platforms; Virgin Media will use technology developed by parent company Liberty Global while Sky will use its AdSmart system.
Launched in 2013, AdSmart uses Experian data to tailor ads to different demographics; over 40 consumer brands, including Tesco, RBS and Audi, have already used the service.
The duo claim the deal also ensures that, as targeted TV expands onto new platforms, that there are consistent capabilities, currencies and targeting.
Virgin Media solutions executive lead and managing director of TV3 Pat Kiely and Sky group director of advanced advertising Jamie West will be leading the development of the strategic partnership.
Both parties intend that additional sales houses and channels will benefit from AdSmart technology over time.
Kiely commented: “Quality programming deserves to be supported with quality advertising. 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.”
West added: “TV remains the most effective and trusted advertising medium there is and continues to innovate at pace. 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.”
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