Just like how you’re served personalized ads (to a degree) on the Internet, UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB (‘Sky’) has officially launched its own tailored TV ad program to the public after a six-month trial period.
Sky AdSmart basically tailors what you see during TV ad breaks based on the household’s profile and location which – in theory – allows for more localized, personalized adverts to reach your eyeballs. So, while someone in London may see a car-dealer’s advert for a sale in Brixton, someone in Scotland could see a similar ad for a dealership in Edinburgh instead.
But it’s not just about location. In addition to tapping your postcode, AdSmart technology also accesses publicly available demographic data from third-party providers such as Experian. This is typically quite broad data, so for example it may eventually know if it’s a multi-person household with an income over a certain amount, one that also owns a fancy car and 3 maxed-out credit cards. Based on this kind of information, more relevant ads can be delivered.
For launch, forty brands are on board, including Tesco, Royal Bank of Scotland, Littlewoods, American Airlines and Audi. Sky says that it’s currently available in more than a fifth of UK households and – perhaps unsurprisingly – AdSmart is very much an opt-out program as opposed to opt-in. If you do wish to opt-out, you can do so online or by calling up.
Meanwhile, you may also wish to read about Gracenote’s Ad Replacement program which is currently being trialed in the US, with the UK on its radar for some time this summer. This is similar to Sky AdSmart, but will see the technology arrive inside your TV, and goes a step further with video fingerprinting – it monitors what you’re watching, and when, to get a better idea of the type of folks you are.