Technology has done amazing things to create a variety of ways people can consume premium television content, helping to spark a “golden age” for content creators. But is the same technology and the data it enables encouraging the hyper targeting of audiences just because the capability exists?
David Sable is quick to point out that algorithms for TV buying are nothing new, as spot TV was traditionally purchased based on CPM’s—the algorithm of the day. In this interview with Beet.TV, the Global CEO of Y&R discusses the seeming dichotomy that is TV everywhere and the growing urge to micro target audiences.
“It’s complex because the promise of so much data and so much targeting makes one think that that’s what they have to do. That you have to be super targeted,” Sable says.
He references Facebook, Mars and Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard as advocating a wider approach to reaching audiences. “We’ve always looked for better ways to target,” Sable says. “I think the problem is we’re in a world of because we can we do, as opposed to people taking a step back and thinking about it and saying ‘what am I actually targeting.’”
He was experimenting with what is now known as addressable TV advertising roughly 15 years ago at direct-marketing agency Wunderman. And while he believes addressable is “going to be important,” he fears that “hyper micro targeting is creating an echo chamber” that keeps getting smaller.
“Do I really only want to talk to people who are going to buy a car in the next six months, who have a propensity to buy a Ford or a Mercedes and only talk to them? If that’s what you do, you’re going down the wrong path,” he says.
In a parallel vein, he points to analyst prognostications a decade ago about the bleak future for TV programming because it would all go the way of CGI.
“There’s more stuff on location than ever before. Less stuff in studio. Less CGI,” Sable notes. “On the content side, we in the golden age here.”
He agrees with NBCUniversal ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino on the need for ad-supported programming that fuels the content of popular platforms like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, as The New York Times reports.
“They’re selling the stuff that advertising has allowed to be created,” Sable says. “They’re just reaping the benefit.”
This segment is part of a series leading up to the 2017 TV Upfront. It is presented by FreeWheel. To find more videos from the series, please visit this page.