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Programmatic is Going Primetime

On July 1st, 1941, the Brooklyn Dodgers played the Philadelphia Phillies at Ebbets Field. The game was broadcast on WNBT-TV. At 2:29pm, just seconds before the game aired, history was made. A grey outline of the United States appeared in viewers’ TVs, overlain by a Bulova clock face, with the voiceover “America Runs on Bulova Time.” The ten second spot was the world’s first TV advertisement.

Many decades later, TV ad spots capture the largest share of media spend thanks to its potential reach and scale. As a channel, video has the unique ability to share a brand’s story with their consumers through sight, sound, and motion. And although video viewing on digital devices continues to rise, TV still commands most of consumers’ time. The medium does, however, have limitations when it comes to inventory insight, targeting, and efficiency. Today, media planners and buyers are working toward designing omnichannel plans, creating the opportunity to modernize traditional TV buying in order to keep pace.

The introduction of programmatic TV is timely, and quickly gaining interest among buyers. Ad technology has matured to allow for a more data-driven targeting approach and more immediate access to inventory and audience data – specifically with the use of programmatic. Buying TV spots is not an inherently streamlined process, but syncing the inventory management and ad insertion systems with programmatic technology offers a more automated purchase process for buyers. Enhanced targeting techniques through programmatic allow buyers to more efficiently assess the spots they are buying. And, instead of reaching out to each individual network for avails, buyers can gather inventory forecasts closer to real time.

Data layers are also changing the way buyers look at inventory, revealing new audience insights and placements that may not have been previously considered. Including audience data gives buyers a chance to plan across both high and low value TV spots, baking efficiency into their plans. This insight spells good news for media buyers, especially those looking to make a little budget go a long way. Even large brands don’t always have the media dollars for prime time spots on large networks. These additional layers of data also help refine targets based on what they’re watching, including more affordable ad spots; a real win for any campaign.

At Centro, we’ve been investigating programmatic TV opportunities with our clients, and checking out the advancements in this space. Interested in joining us? Reach out to info@centro.net, or speak to your local account lead to get the full picture of how Centro can help you get started in programmatic TV.