LONDON: Channel 4 is deploying AI to identify storylines and “positive contextual moments” in programming, which it says will lead to smarter planning and new opportunities for challenger brands.
Neil Taylor (lead data strategist commercial) and Samantha Adcock (senior research executive) discussed this topic at the recent MediaTel Big Day of Data, where they explained how their work with AI has the potential to radically change media planning.
“I can watch a programme where a character has a glass of wine,” said Taylor, “[and] in the next ad break we can automatically place an ad for Blossom Hill, Hardy’s etc. – quite simply we’ve created a contextual moment.”
They outlined how the UK broadcaster has used AI to identify what is happening on the screen and assess the role of a product in a scene, scoring its “strength” for advertisers on scale from 1 to 5.
A similar process scores it for “positivity”, depending on how characters may be referring to it. (For more, read WARC’s report: Finding relevance: two takes on context from Channel 4 and Trinity Mirror.)
In a research project involving 1,922 online interviewees, the two reported that across a range of metrics the contextual ad consistently returned higher figures.
“For every brand [tested] the highest level of spontaneous awareness was among those who saw the ad in a contextual placement,” Adcock said, with an average 34% increase versus the control group.
The same was true, albeit to a lesser extent, for brand perception, which saw an average 12% increase versus control.
But the “killer stat”, said Taylor, “and the one that really took us by surprise, was ad recall. Basically, recall across all the brands we tested doubled.”
The research team is currently exploring the effect “erroneous recollection”, having discovered that research participants exposed to a contextual ad appeared more likely to mistakenly remember what product appeared in the programming.
There is a suggestion that “they’re starting to place the ad within the programme,” said Taylor – which “represents an interesting opportunity for challenger brands”.
More generally, “with contextual moments, we can do smarter planning”, he added, by providing similar contextual moments across different programmes.
Sourced from WARC