Digital is good for TV, Kantar’s Shababb tells Staying Tuned

Kantar Media exec George Shababb talks addressable TV and digital measurement as he kicks off BBM's annual Staying Tuned event Thursday.

Broadcasters and advertisers have more to gain than lose from new digital technology, and the proof is addressable advertising, audience measurement guru George Shababb told the BBM Staying Tuned Conference in Toronto on Thursday.

Shababb, president of Kantar Media Audiences, told the industry gathering that content is still king, but has a new partner, digital technology, which is driving TV viewership and advertising effectiveness.

One result is targeted, addressable ads to TV viewers that more effectively get the right message to the right eyeballs.

Shababb recalled recent Comcast trials that Kantar Media participated in where creative for General Motors advertising in two key US markets was sent to segmented homes based on value, import and luxury.

‘So three different creative executions were swapped out depending on which group the home fell into,’ he told the conference during a morning panel on measurement challenges and opportunities.

The results were promising: ‘Using customized creative greatly increased the effectiveness of the targeted advertising,’ Shababb reported.

He added addressable creative helped advertisers save dollars by delivering to homes they coveted most, and proved effective in keeping targeted households more closely aligned with brands.

Shababb’s comments echoed a common theme at the 2011 Staying Tuned gathering: better tracking and targeting of audiences across an increasingly multiplatform digital universe is a bonus for broadcasters and advertisers.

‘The simultaneous use of platforms makes all ships rise,’ Sheryl Feldinger, senior VP of strategic marketing and metrics at NBC Universal told the panel after the US network tracked viewers of its 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games coverage on TV and laptops.

Testing on a panel of 3,000 Olympics viewers that measured their TV and online habits revealed multi-taskers were the most engaged consumers of NBC’s Winter Games coverage.

‘People who followed the cross-platform Olympics watched twice as much TV compared to those who only viewed the Vancouver Games on TV, and young adults watched three times as much TV coverage of the Olympics,’ Feldinger told the conference.

The panel members conceded during audience questioning that they have a long way to go before they can refine audience and advertising metrics in the digital universe to fully capture emerging viewer habits.

NBC Universal’s Feldinger said the US broadcaster is looking to the 2012 London Olympics to measure a single user’s consumption of three or more screens, to take account of mobile phones, the iPad and other new digital devices.

But Kantar’s Shababb insisted that, despite audience fragmentation and the challenge to broadcasting from the internet, digital technology can and is leading to more engaged TV viewers.

‘TV will continue to evolve from a lean-back to a lean-forward medium that can deliver effective advertising, and that will create new metrics,’ he said.

From Playback Daily