Turner Tailors TV Ads to Program Content

16 May 2008

NEW YORK: In a neat example of innovative thinking, Time Warner's Turner Entertainment on Wednesday launched TV in Context – a new system that pairs commercials with relevant moments in the shows they bisect.

Presenting the broadcaster's upfront plans, evp/general manager for advertising sales and marketing Linda Yaccarino introduced the new system, likening it to online's current flavor of the month – contextual targeting.

This, said Yaccarino, "matches spots with relevant scenes" in the movies and series aired by Turner channels TBS, TNT and TruTV.

As an example she cited a scene from the movie Anchorman in which Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell chew the fat about love. The first spot in the next commercial break could be for online dating service eHarmony.com .

Similarly, a scene from the movie Hitch, in which Will Smith suffers an allergic reaction to a meal, might be followed by an ad for allergy medicine Zyrtec.

Turner is not alone in seeking to exploit contextual advertising. Other broadcasters are exploring similar avenues, in particular the AMC cable network which is working with Nielsen Media Research to offer a  service branded AIM – Audience Identity Metric.

It will operate in conjunction with movie packages tailored to the behavioral characteristics of consumers likely to watch those movies.

For instance, an automaker targeting men aged 25-49 in the market for a new car could run its commercials in a film package that would include macho titles such as The Godfather.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff