CANNES — The $72 billion US TV advertising industry is premised on making 30-second spots that target consumers. Imagine what happens when TV sets give advertisers the cues they need to target customers individually.

Michael Bologna, president of GroupM’s Modi Media division, which is working on just that proposition, says 2015 is the year it has begun to happen – but he cautions that advertising may need to adjust to the new realities of the possibilities.

“If we still live in a world where we spend a million dollars to create a spot, that’s not economically feasible for this data- and tech-driven world,” he told a Cannes Lions panel discussion, recorded by Beet.TV.

“We need to figure out a way to take these big, beautiful million-dollar spots and cut them three, four, five, 20 different ways so that the right message goes to the right consumer at the right time at the right frequency.”

Fellow panelists agreed that the prospects are vast:

  • SMG precision video director Tracey Scheppach said: “There is a huge opportunity for a creative renaissance and there’s so many categories that can get on television at a smaller spend… smaller brands that haven’t had the opportunity because they’d have to buy at such a large scale.”
  • AT&T AdWorks president Mike Welch said advertisers will be able to test audience response to different versions of 30-second spots: “Changing the version of that ad to move someone down the buying funnel is another great opportunity.”

This video is part of a series produced at Cannes Lions aboard the AT&T AdWorks yacht, sponsored by AT&T. For more clips from the session, please visit this page.