SAN JUAN, PR — As the industry heads into another upfront TV ad sales season, some may be expecting the familiar pattern of publishers pitching their creative opportunities.

While that may still be the case, Travis Scoles is expecting audience identity and new-wave measurement capabilities to take center-stage.

As senior vice president of advanced advertising at Paramount, Scoles shares his insights with Beet.TV contributor Rob Williams on why identity is becoming the cornerstone of effective advertising and how this focus is shaping the future of targeted campaigns.

The Importance of Identity in Advertising

“Identity is the connection point of all that we do,” Scoles begins, emphasizing the critical role it plays in bringing outcomes to advertisers.

Paramount’s approach goes beyond the oversimplified notion of identity as a singular identifier. “You have to be very careful and methodical with how you go about that,” Scoles explains, highlighting the complexity of managing audience identities across digital and linear platforms.

This meticulous approach to identity is not just about understanding audiences but about delivering them to advertisers as a tangible asset. Scoles details, “When you buy from Paramount, you’re buying an audience… and we can tell you who those folks are.” Scoles thinks this assurance is important in an era where advertisers seek more than just impressions—they seek connections with receptive viewers.

Educating Advertisers on Identity’s Impact

Scoles acknowledges the need for education in the industry, noting that questions often arise from media buyers and advertisers about the practicalities of identity-driven advertising.

“Why does this even matter?” is a common query he encounters. Scoles responds confidently: “This matters because … you want your dollars to go further.”

He argues that the conversation often revolves around data science and data sources, yet the foundational element of identity is sometimes overlooked. “If you have messed up that identity layer at the very top, none of the rest of it even matters,” he notes, correlating the precision of identity management with the performance of advertising dollars.

Looking Ahead: Measurement Takes Center Stage

As for what’s next, Scoles hints at a significant shift in the industry. “This is going to be, I think, the first upfront where measurement really takes a first seat,” he predicts.

The upcoming year seems ripe for transformation, with traditional metrics being replaced by big data and nuanced approaches to measurement.

Scoles projects that conversations will increasingly focus on the pros and cons of various measurement methods. He anticipates that advertisers will see the added value of these measurements “loaded in upfront” in their deals, reinforcing the power of television and Paramount’s offerings.

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