Worth a Look: The Trouble with Targeting on Connected TV


Mark Trefgarne, CEO of LiveRail, wrote an interesting piece over on Ad Age this week, about the pros and cons of targeting on connected TV. The main problem with connected TV is the lack of cookie data, which currently forms the cornerstone of data-driven advertising. Marketers have been down this road before of course – mobile advertisers have had to manage with a lack of cookie data for a while now. However, Trefgarne believes connected TV might open up some opportunities for targeting via other means:

One possible solution is to require consumers to log in with a universal identifier – a Google or Facebook account that will use third-party data to associate TV viewing with other web browsing data. Samsung and Lenovo showed off TVs at CES in Las Vegas that automatically log viewers into Facebook via facial recognition.

Facial recognition might be a solution, although it would make it difficult for marketers to use the data on platforms other than Google and Facebook, and it seems highly likely that using facial recognition for marketing purposes will open up a particularly active new front on the privacy debate.

Trefgarne also looks at the role that Google Wallet might play on connected TV in terms of attribution – now this would be exciting, although again there would be privacy implications (although Trefgarne points out it might work on an opt-in basis):

There are other potential places this model can go. Google’s Wallet product, for example, is tied to both a Google ID and a user’s credit card information. Now we’re talking about the point where one company can follow the thread from online search to a single TV ad to a purchase on a credit card. That’s a level of attribution that analog TV can’t come anywhere near.

You can read the article in full here.


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