DirecTV to launch addressable ads

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DirecTV will begin serving targeted ads to individual subscriber households next year. Agency network Starcom MediaVest Group is working with DirecTV on the service.

Tracey Scheppach, SVP and innovation director at Starcom MediaVest Group, said consumers' DVR boxes will serve as the “mailbox” for delivering relevant direct advertising “any time there's inventory available.” This will include live TV programming and time-shifted viewing for the approximately 10 million DirecTV subscribers in the US who have a DVR box, she said.

The so-called “addressable” ads will launch nationwide in August or September of 2011, said Scheppach. She added that DirecTV subscribers will be able to opt out of the service.

To place relevant ads at the household level, the names and addresses of DirecTV subscribers will be shared with database marketing providers Experian and Acxiom for better targeting, said Scheppach.

“If you have a dog, and Experian or Acxiom knows this, then that might be used” to influence ad placement, she said.

DirecTV is working with Invidi, an addressable advertising technology firm headquartered in New York, for DVR box delivery of the ads.

The move represents a new level of sophistication in TV audience targeting, said industry experts. The service will allow advertisers to target “not just households, but what the households are made up of,” said David Cooperstein, VP and practice leader for CMO and marketing leadership at Forrester Research. Addressable ads are the “next big wave” in TV, he said, adding that cable and satellite TV providers are looking at Internet advertising as a model for targeting.

DirecTV could not be immediately reached for comment.

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