Pure programmatic buying of television ads in a real-time, automated fashion is not happening at any kind of scale today and probably won’t for a few years, according to the Chief Investment Officer for OMD USA. However, “A lot of the benefits from programmatic thinking are starting to come into the marketplace, mostly through the data side,” notes Ben Winkler.
“What I think we’re going to start seeing with new technologies is using addressability as a way of versioning for national TV,” Winkler says in an interview with Beet.tv. “That’s really exciting stuff, particularly for our set of clients, many of whom are portfolio clients, all of whom are looking for growth.”
Media agencies have always touted their clout in getting the most advantageous rates for their clients owing to the sheer amount of money they spend. The same principle is still at play, but it’s just the starting point.
“Using technology, you can take the clout and those great rates but then deliver the right ad to the right person within that national buy,” Winkler says. “That’s a remarkable opportunity.”
More TV networks are realizing that in lieu of an increase in viewers, they need to bring more value to the table, according to Winkler. He cites NBC and Turner Broadcasting as examples of programmers using various data sets to optimize schedules on the fly. “And that’s a good thing. Just because we’re not doing pure programmatic doesn’t mean we’re not happy about the better performance we’re getting for our clients,” Winkler says.
For media agencies seeking to transition to the all-things-data approach to media planning and buying, the biggest change that Winkler has seen has been taking data out of the data silo “or even out of the digital silo, for that matter.”
OMD is seeing the biggest impact for its clients by “making data part of the beginning of the process and therefore affecting every medium that we plan and buy on behalf of our clients,” says Winkler. “When you do that, suddenly it’s 10X the impact. But only if you talk about data up front.”
As he looks ahead to CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Winkler will be trying to discern the most meaningful advances in television technology from the passing near-fads.
“We’ve seen a lot of gimmickry over the last few years, whether that’s curved TV’s or 3D TV’s,” he says.
So what went wrong? According to Winkler, manufacturers were focusing on the wrong types of technological advances.
“People want technology that makes it easier for them to watch more TV,” he explains. “Technology that lets you watch more TV is going to be embraced by the American public because we love to watch TV.”
Voice recognition could be that technological magic bullet. The ability to tell your TV set to play episode #4 of Seinfeld or a particular pro football game.
“Once you have the experience of asking technology to do something for you and it does it instantly and without hesitation and without a mistake, you will never go back,” Winkler says.
Who’s going to deliver it? Siri with Apple? Amazon Echo? Google?
“I’m not sure,” Winkler says. “That’s the new battlefront. Voice activation in the living room with a TV and may the best man win.”