LOS ANGELES — When one of the world’s largest media buyers incorporates contextual targeting into its connected TV offering, you know the new practice is about to take a head start.
That’s what GroupM’s Finecast did in November, when it announced it would be making IRIS.TV’s brand safety and contextual targeting tools available to its US local advertising clients.
This means that “any IRIS-enabled publisher can make their video library available for in-context purchases through GroupM,” according to the IRIS.TV announcement.
The eye of the case
Interviewed at the Beet Retreat in Santa Monica, IRIS.TV CEO Field Garthwaite explained the deal.
“Finecast is the newly created advanced television division of GroupM, and GroupM is the largest television buyer in the world,” Garthwaite said.
“So as they evolve the same way audiences evolve in these new environments, like streaming and connected TV, they’ve created this new division to enable advanced targeting capabilities.
“On behalf of Finecast, we’re unlocking all signals and enabling them to leverage all these different data solutions for brand safety, contextual targeting and verification.”
Finecast is GroupM’s specialist advanced television purchasing unit. In 2017, WPP’s GroupM launched Finecast, aiming to “help advertisers reach hard-to-reach viewers through a single access point with standardized measurement”, starting in the UK and since launching in 11 country in total.
Finecast aggregates video ad inventory across the programming of some of the UK’s leading commercial broadcasters, as well as across most major set-top and over-the-top devices, from Sky’s satellite set-top box to game consoles.
It has since spread to other countries.
Relevant ads win
For IRIS.TV’s Garthwaite, it’s all about helping create ‘relevance’, meaning matching ads to the content in which they’re placed.
“The major issue we’ve seen in this environment has been transparency and reach, relevance and performance at scale,” he said.
“TV buyers are used to being able to reach a huge peak in the environment, and there is no equivalent in prime time streaming.
“So we think that capability is going to normalize because if you can actually reach the audience at the exact moment they’re looking at relevant content, time and time again we see that relevance drives results, relevance drives recall and sales. .”
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