Advertising is a form of story-telling, delivered through meticulously sequenced campaigns on screens, posters, newspapers and other media. But while campaigns have always been integrated across different channels when they are conceived, their execution has always been more fragmented: TV buyers buy TV, digital buyers buy digital, with different deals, metrics, briefs and agencies. This problem has become more acute in a digital world where viewers are switching between mobile devices as well as computer and TV screens.

To help resolve this we have launched a new product for advertisers called Sky AdVance (read about it here). This is a significant development because it allows advertisers to create a complete journey for viewers across devices – TV, mobile, tablet - so that audiences see the right ad, at the right time, in the right sequence and on the right screen.

Sky customers are used to watching Sky in their living rooms, on their tablets out and about as well as checking the latest football scores or news on one of our many apps.

The understanding Sky has of viewing behaviour across different platforms and devices means advertisers can address the most relevant and interested audiences via whichever screens they’re using. We can do this without encroaching upon viewer privacy or harming the overall viewing experience.

It means at the heart of Sky AdVance is data. What makes us particularly different is the scale of the data we have. The Sky Viewing Panel produces anonymised viewing data from nearly 3 million households. This allows insights from the Sky platform covering over 500 TV channels, providing programme, spot and sponsorship viewing information as well as recency and frequency data. This knowledge opens the door to deeper cross-platform understanding and ad delivery and has allowed us to develop Sky AdVance.

For advertisers it means they can:

  • Extend the reach of TV spot campaigns to those who haven’t seen it, via digital ads
  • Complement a TV campaign with a reinforcing message online to TV viewers – with the option to limit the number of times they see it
  • Amplify sponsorship campaigns by engaging viewing of specific idents with VOD or display ads
  • Deliver a digital campaign to viewers of a particular show such as Game of Thrones or movie lovers or fans of particular genres such as food programmes

Creatively Sky AdVance opens up exciting possibilities. By allowing sequential and consequential targeting we can ensure creative is seen in the order intended, delivered with maximum impact. For example a luxury car marque could play out a 60 second TV commercial to arouse interest, and then arrange for banners to appear around online content once the TV ad has been seen in that household, offering test drives and monthly finance examples.

And the beauty of this development is that it is good for viewers too. They get to see more relevant and less irrelevant advertising, making for a better experience whether in front of the TV or on their tablet. The more that new ad formats and technology can make advertising interesting, useful and effective, the better for viewers, advertisers and media owners.
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