CANNES — Once upon a time, television advertising used to be all about igniting consumers’ initial interest, sometimes long before an eventual purchase.

It’s called “branding”, raising awareness at the very start of the marketing funnel – with no real ability to track a TV ad’s specific impact on sales.

But all that is changing, thanks to new technology that tracks consumers’ TV viewing – and follows consumers all the way to the checkout.

“We index all of television across the United States, so we know what people are watching,” says Mark Gall, chief revenue officer of Alphonso, one of the companies enabling the new practice.

“We have distribution in one out of three US households, where we have the Alphonso SDK (software development kit). We’re able to recognise what’s on TV in one out of every three US TV households.

“The (consumers’) smartphone goes to the store and we’re able to identify that smartphone’s been in a store nine minutes, you’re purchasing a product, and you’re able to use Nielsen Catalina or ROI to demonstrate a sale.”

This kind of attribution for TV ad viewership could change the game, bringing far greater certainty to TV ad spending – and perhaps even change TV advertising in to a medium used by companies that don’t just want to raise awareness, they want to achieve specific end sales.

This video is from The Advanced TV Summit at Cannes Lions 2017, presented by Alphonso. For more from the series, please visit this page.