CANNES – If you are one of the many people whose attention to a television show is shared by another device, there’s a decent chance Alphonso knows what you’re watching. The automatic content recognition company indexes TV like Google indexes the Internet.
So when an Alphonso SDK in a tablet, smartphone, smart set-top box or TV set recognizes what’s being watched, an ad can be served in real time, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mark Gall, explained during a panel discussion about the state of advanced TV sponsored by the MEC agency at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
“Now we’re able to target one-to-one on a deterministic manner from TV to mobile but also, and even more importantly, show ROI,” said Gall.
Alphonso’s technology is present in more than 45 million devices in 32 million U.S. TV households, representing about one in three of the latter. It identifies TV shows and commercials and “fingerprints” them. The company plans to make its presence known in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“Most people are using a second screen while watching TV,” Gall said in responsive to a question from moderator Matt Spiegel of MediaLink. “We are now solving the problem of connecting TV to mobile.”
In addition to being able to extend frequency and build reach in real time, advertisers can use Alphonso’s technology to attribute ad exposure to sales and traffic to online sites and auto dealerships, among other things.
“At the end of the day, we’re able to prove the ad was recognized and watched and you bought something,” Gall said.
If someone is watching a commercial on TV for, say, Walmart, a Walmart ad can be served to that person’s device. Contrarily, a competitor could have a conquest ad served. With paid streaming, someone watching Game of Thrones might be avoiding ads during that programming but they can be served ads via Alphonso.
Gall referenced a project his company is doing with an unidentified retailer in which the retailer’s CRM data is matched with Alphonso’s TV viewing database. This way the retailer can focus its resources on reaching its most valuable shoppers.
“Now you can focus in on the seven or eight networks, or the two or three paid streaming shows that they watched, and target them. And don’t worry about the shopper who’s only spending $20 a year. Worry about the ones that are spending $600 a year,” said Gall.
For a glimpse of Alphonso’s database of TV commercials, visit this page.