Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

Political ads are about to get much more personal. Dish Network and DirecTV are coming together to offer microtargeted advertising spots for politicians hoping to reach specific audiences with specific messages during campaigns. Audiences will be identified all the way down to the individual household, and political advertisers will pay big money to reach those households with tailored messages. “Addressable advertising” will start small, but likely have a big impact on the industry.

The Washington Post explains the logistics of ad targeting: “While your set-top box is idle, it’ll tune into a channel that’s playing the ad you’re meant to see. It’ll record the ad using DVR, then insert it into your regular programming while you’re watching a show — replacing or bumping the ad that was supposed to air instead.”

This method will be especially helpful to political advertisers for determining the effectiveness of different ads for the same campaign, especially at the onset — before they get to the widespread deluge of ads. A former media targeting director for President Obama’s most recent campaign said addressable advertising is about “testing the persuasiveness of an ad.”

“Though this might inspire fantasies of a different ad that’s custom-made each for seniors, soccer moms and single youths, the reality is that most campaigns won’t be able to afford it,” notes The Washington Post. “It’s simply too expensive for your average campaign to get actors or B-roll for multiple ads.”

The article adds that Dish and DirecTV have both offered their own versions of addressable advertising for the past two years, but this partnership takes it up a notch by giving advertisers a “far larger pool of potential test subjects.”