The opportunity to deliver customised TV ads tailored to individual households is new and fast emerging, and you could scarcely pick a better exemplar for the discipline than an election.
Fortunately, an election is happening right now. And addressable TV has been used by candidates to deliver messages in key states, tailored to individual homes with target voters.
"The political inventory is what's making the addressable system truly hum," according to DISH Media Sales media sales and analytics VP Adam Gaynor.
For the last couple of years in the run-up to the 2016 vote, Gaynor's company has been involved in a joint venture with DirecTV, D2 Media Sales, designed to sell precision-guided TV ads to political campaigners.
"We have an ability to bring scale to individual state level, more politicians ... (t0) help Republicans find Republicans, Democrats find Democrats, or Democrats find Republicans.
"When you're trying to find an undecided voter in a certain state with certain other attributes, that may be an audience that we're typically not reaching. The more we do, the more that system makes everything run smoothly."
Among D2's main attributes is its ability to create scalable household-addressable media buys at the local level, enabling political campaigns to target their buys within given states, along with its approach to prevent wasted impressions.
Even though D2 offers some 50 demographic audiences for targeting, in addition to voter file data, buyers bring their own data to the table in line with their specific needs.
Although Gaynor says addressable is here and now, he recognizes advertiser inertia beyond the realm of experimentation. Perhaps that's why this election a, as a relatively one-off event, is attracting spend.
Gaynor fears "sticker shock" when ad buyers see the prices asked for addressable functionality are holding the market back, but are also misplaced.
"People see, $30,$40,$50,$60,$100 or$200 CPMs," he says. "The sticker shock is enough to say, 'Addressable is not for me'. That could not be further from the truth. We work with all kinds of brands."
That's why addressable is still in an "education" phase, a reason DISH has put together a report on the topic for buyers.
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