Video Essentials

Addressable Advertising: Viacom Explains How and When to Use It

“Addressable by itself is a valuable commodity,” said Julian Zilberbrand, executive vice president of audience science for Viacom. Then adding “Addressable everywhere is probably overkill.” While addressable advertising is powerful, it doesn’t need to be part of every campaign.

Addressable Advertising

Chris Pizzurro of Canoe Ventures and Julian Zilberbrand of Viacom at Microsoft Media and Entertainment Day 2018

Zilberbrand spoke Tuesday at the Smart Content Summit in New York City, and explained where addressable advertising makes sense and where it doesn’t. Addressable advertising allows marketers to serve video to exactly the viewers they want to reach, thanks to data collected by online platforms like connected TV. While it’s a powerful way to reach a highly targeted audience, not every campaign needs to be so targeted. Branding campaigns, for example, don’t need the targeting of addressable. And since addressable comes with a premium price tag, marketers should save it for when they need to have a conversation with a specific niche audience.

“Addressable still has some gaps in measurement, if I’m being honest,” Zilberbrand noted. “It’s going to be a different measurement criteria.” For addressable inventory, the measurement is less about GRPs and more about data sets and driving a specific buyer to make a purchase. It’s a different criteria and one that’s harder to measure. Linear is easy, Zilberbrand said, addressable is hard.

Zilberbrand also extolled the value of Ad-ID, a standard for identifying advertising assets across media platforms. “We are big supporters of Ad-ID,” he said. The problem for Ad-ID is that too few advertisers understand its benefits, and don’t see the value of getting and leveraging the data it provides. What’s needed is education that will show how the system’s data provides a return on investment.

These systems require change, and Zilberbrand said he’s learned that people don’t love change. But embracing change is critical, he said: Brands that do are thriving in the marketplace, and those that cling to older systems are under water.


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