Sky AdSmart – Beginner’s Guide to TV Advertising

Sky+ HD box with Sky AdSmart technology.

Sky AdSmart can serve different ads to individual Sky households. When a customer’s profile matches attributes selected by an advertiser, the Sky+ HD box will seamlessly substitute a more appropriate commercial.


What is Sky AdSmart? Imagine being able to insert a television commercial for your local business into a carefully selected group of Sky channels with specific appeal to your target demographic, without having to buy a traditional national campaign. Imagine being able to show a commercial for a special local offer to selected postcodes, age-brackets, or household incomes. How about only showing a commercial advertising dog food to homeowners who own a dog; or an insurance ad only to homeowners whose policy is due for renewal? Imagine the cost-savings associated with such targeted advertising.
All of this is now possible. Sky AdSmart can serve different ads to different Sky households watching the same programme, at the same time. The delivery method takes advantage of Sky+HD boxes – now the majority of Sky’s installed receivers – which will store commercials that have been downloaded via the satellite stream. When a customer’s profile matches attributes selected by an advertiser, the box will seamlessly substitute the more appropriate commercial. The Sky+HD box becomes a dynamic ad server.
At a recent business networking event I was evangelically spreading the word about Sky AdSmart and found it to be greeted – from those in advertising – with wide eyes and genuine excitement. Despite the enthusiasm I also talked to a couple of sceptics, “I never watch the ads, I just grab the remote and skip right past them.” I’m sure anyone in the television commercials business can associate with that line of conversation, and no amount of solid statistical evidence will ever convince refuseniks that they are actually in a very small minority. Sky AdSmart has a pleasing feature to finally silence those naysayers. If a viewer skips more than 25% an AdSmart commercial (or fast-forwards through it) the advertiser doesn’t get charged for the insertion. As with online advertising and VOD, your commercial is delivered on a Cost Per Impression (CPI) basis. So, you can now tell those ‘skippers’ and ‘fast-forwarders’ that they’re actually saving advertisers money by opting out.
But, stats about the quantity of views is only the tip of the information iceberg. Sky’s AdSmart brings to television campaigns a similar flavour of tracking, analytics and metrics information as that for online advertising campaigns – and the accuracy of the measurement systems are independently audited. Any media buyer worth their salt will immediately appreciate the power of such statistics, especially when used in correlation with their web counterparts. AdSmart is still broadcast advertising, but with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. To look at it another way, television need no longer be a sledgehammer to crack a nut – and for a whole raft of businesses television advertising just became very affordable indeed.
Sky’s CFO Andrew Griffith explained the way Sky AdSmart could benefit an advertiser,
“A high street bank could show an ISA commercial to high income homes and at the same time a current account message to others. We’re only able to do this because we have a wholly owned and operated connected box platform, and we have the inventory to sell advertisers because of the breadth of content that attracts valuable audiences.”

To discuss TV commercial production for a Sky AdSmart campaign – or TV commercial production for any other broadcaster – get in touch below!

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