FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

TV Advertisers to Deploy New Digital Tracking System

Advertisers who produce TV commercial in the US will soon begin using a new digital tracking system that will allow for more precise tracking of ads. Eventually, the system could be used to deliver custom-designed advertising to particular households.

Called Ad-ID, the system will use a 12-character code to identify each TV advertisement, and will serve as a central repository for all TV ads that can be monitored and controlled through intranets. The top four US TV networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox) will comply with Ad-ID.

In the short term, the system is expect to cut costs and reduce the chances of ads being aired in the wrong slots. But eventually, advertisers hope to leverage Ad-ID to target ads to precise demographics. For instance, families with small children might see more ads for diapers and toys, whereas high-income households could see more ads for upscale products and services.

TV networks would have to develop the infrastructure to deliver such advertising, but the demographic data already exists through regionally segmented databases such as Claritas. Just for fun, look up your own ZIP Code in the Claritas PRIZM database to see the economic, social and lifestyle segments of people who live in your area.

Sources: USA Today, Future Now