While the term “high fidelity” is a relic of 1950’s audio recordings, higher fidelity is one of the potential benefits of cross-screen addressable advertising, says the president of Omnicom’s fledgling Hearts & Science agency. Zak Treuhaft also hears echoes of the early digital media era in the industry wide desire to target consumers wherever they happen to be.
“In some ways I think there’s a parallel between cross-screen addressability and the early days of digital advertising, where first into the boat will be people who can very easily model out and attribute direct sales to their message,” Treuhaft says in an interview with Beet.TV.
These people inhabit categories like automotive, travel & tourism and electronics, where there is “high cost, high consideration” far down the sales funnel “where there’s an intense need to address a very specific person,” says Treuhaft. “Much like the early days of digital advertising, cross-screen addressable will eventually become the norm for all categories as the value of the data that lives inside that campaign becomes more widely understand and more easily scalable,” he adds.
Whether a given marketing program is seeking increased ROI or performance, “I think part of the promise of addressable is that it allows you to tune and target whatever work you’re doing with a lot greater fidelity,” Treuhaft says.
But first, the industry needs to reel in its desire to parse out infinite variations of creative messaging—a situation Treuhaft likens to “a kid in a candy store” because the industry has become too obsessed with tools.
“I think part of the opposite of a favor that we’ve done as an industry is we’ve sliced audiences far too thin,” Treuhaft explains. “If I go to a creative agency and say ‘I have 400 segments, each one of which will receive a completely different message,’ no creative wants that assignment” or can even find 400 different versions of an ad for 400 different targets.
“I think we’ll find a nice equilibrium where there are slightly different spins on slightly different campaigns and creativity will live on multiple screens in different ways, but not all the way to N equals a million,” says Treuhaft.
He describes the role of Hearts & Science, which ADWEEK reports launched earlier this year with Procter & Gamble as its first client and subsequently picked up business from AT&T, as enabling the agency’s clients to emerge from the siloed media channels mindset and embrace a holistic view of marketing programs.
“We believe that ultimately, the promise of digital is that all of those different threads and screens come together. Our job as an agency is to help our clients find their target wherever that happens to be in front of whatever that screen happens to be,” says Treuhaft.
This video explores the state of cross-screen addressable video advertising. The series is sponsored by AT&T AdWorks. Please visit this page to view more videos from the series.