If you’re not living in Canada, chances are good you missed the announcement last week that Canadian cable operator Cogeco is planning an addressable advertising trial with Invidi in 2011. Motorola is also involved in the activity, working closely with Invidi and the broadcast station CHCH to deliver advanced ad capabilities to customer Cogeco.
Advanced advertising has had a lot of false starts in the TV world. We’re starting to see some traction for interactive ads in the US with Comcast’s successful request-for-information spots, and Canoe’s announcement that it is now offering interactive ad inventory on a national basis. But the interactive revolution has been slow, and the push behind addressable advertising even slower.
The Cogeco announcement is encouraging because it promises a good real-world reference case for addressable advertising. According to the press release, Invidi’s Advatar system “enables television advertisers to deliver tailored messaging to individual households during a commercial break.” (Emphasis my own) In other words, Cogeco will be able to deliver finely targeted commercials during a broadcast show. This is significant both because of the ability to target households, and because the trial goes beyond many existing field tests which have focused primarily on VOD platforms. The system will use demographic information available in the public domain, and the trial will take place in the Golden Horseshoe area of South-Central Ontario.
Beyond the technical implications here, the Cogeco news suggests new territory may be opening up for cable operators in broadcast advertising.