Some world-changing technologies explode overnight, others take years to burn so brightly. Addressable TV may be in the latter category.

The ability of marketers to target individual viewing households with specific messaging seems revolutionary. But, though it has existed for several years now and though consumer technology deployment is wider than ever, discussions from successive Beet Retreats suggest some advertisers are still getting up to speed, and are still yet to be convinced.

eMarketer recently revised down its 2019 forecast for US addressable TV ad spending, from the earlier $2.54bn to $2bn. The earlier forecast had pegged addressable spending at just 3.7% of total US TV ad spend in 2019.

Whilst that was attributed to connected TV platforms gaining a faster share of spend than traditional MVPD platforms will, we continue to hear brand views at both ends of the spectrum… from skepticism that addressable presents any brand benefits, to brands needlessly hoping to fine-target audiences.

At Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!”, an executive from a company which has been a canary in the mineshaft for addressable TV said he sees varied willingness on the part of brands.

Marc Cestaro, MODI Media addressable lead, was interviewed by Howard Shimmel, president of Janus Strategy & Insights.

Overcoming objections

“Whether clients are willing to abandon or learn something new is kind of where (growth) lies.

“I think it’s just (about needing) a unified march to understand and push and accept that it is fragmented, but it’s really not that hard.”

Repetition breeds competence

“People tried this (technique) three or four years ago and say it didn’t work or it was too complicated, (but) it’s totally different now. We’re not reinventing the wheel, but it’s just, with repetition, comes ease.”

Mass brands can benefit

“Another misconception is, (when marketers say), ‘My brand is not fit for addressable because my target is very broad’. And, I’m not going to say that’s not true, but it’s all about how you look at it…

“If I own a tissue company … would it make sense to target that (precision) way? (No), everybody’s using tissues. But, within that, you can have a subset:

  • “You could go after a competitor.
  • “You can target heavy purchasers of a certain product or premium product.”

Shedding inertia

“I think we’ve kind of moved beyond the challenges that were just six months away.”

Asked to rate advertisers’ acceptance of the tactic, Cestaro rated it four out of five on average.

This video is part of a series from the Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” hosted by GroupM Worldwide and sponsored by Amobee, Comcast Spotlight, TVSquared and WideOrbit. Please visit this page for additional segments.