Sky AdSmart: Revolutionising TV Advertising

Published December 6, 2018
Last Updated February 7, 2019
Jask Creative

What is Sky AdSmart?

On a basic level; Sky AdSmart is tailored, targeted television advertising. However, originally launched in 2014, Sky AdSmart has developed considerably over the years.

It provides a way of showing different ads to different households, even if they’re watching the same programme. It achieves refined, precise targeting by demographic, age, location, affluence, and life-stage.

Recently, the platform has made itself suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes, where even those with smaller budgets are able to achieve effective results. Its service has also extended to Viacom channels such as Channel 5, MTV, and Comedy Central. What’s more, it’s set to develop even further over the next year with the platform also rolling out over Virgin Media and Now TV.

So, how exactly does Sky AdSmart work?

How does Sky AdSmart work?

Without getting too technical, AdSmart works by sending a library of ads over satellite to the hard-disk of a sky+HD set-top box.

Households can then be selected based on data derived from a combination of Sky’s own data and information from third party data profile experts such as Experian.

Sky has derived hundreds of audience segments so that ads can be marketed based on factors such as home ownership, where people are at in their lives, postcode, affluence, household composition, location etc.

On the affordability and costs side, the platform has also developed to ensure that both businesses accustomed to TV advertising and those who’ve never done it before will benefit equally. For example, because an ad will only play when its specified audience is watching, it ensures money is being spent on the right thing.

AdSmart also only charges an advertiser if 75% or more of their ad is watched. However, this is only the case if the ad is being watched at a normal speed (so no flicking through channels or fast-forwarding).

The diversity of modern audiences is also taken into consideration with this platform. For instance, many of us will watch programmes that have been pre-recorded nowadays. Because this is the case, AdSmart works so that an ad can still be played out on a recorded programme, but only if the viewer is watching at a normal speed.

What’s the future like for AdSmart?

The highly-technical advertising tool has grown and developed considerably since its launch over four years ago. However, it’s not settling down just yet.

Last year, Sky and Virgin Media announced their new partnership, which sought to give social media advertising a good run for its money. Virgin alone claims it offers a potential addressable audience of up to 30 million people.

The result of joining forces with such channels is targeted advertising on a larger scale.

Gareth Bakewell, Sales Manager at Sky AdSmart, explains:

The rate at which AdSmart is extending means more relevant ads can be shown in front of refined, target audiences.

The platform isn’t only for those with large spends, either – for those on a budget, the minimum spend is £3,000, which will get your ad appearing on over 200 Sky channels. Ultimately, therefore, AdSmart has made TV advertising accessible and effective for local advertisers as well as big brands.

Wherever you stand on visual media and in particular targeted TV advertising, one thing’s for sure: we’ve come a long way from the days of marketing to mass audiences. That said, targeted TV advertising may be beginning to match the efforts of social media in terms of refining audiences and maximising reach.

Sky AdSmart is revolutionising the TV platform to keep up with the success of digital platforms, allowing brands to refine their targeting and be sure their content is reaching the right people.

What are your thoughts? Let us know by tweeting us here, or contact us here!

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