AT&T Tests Cross-Screen Addressable Ads

Marketers Can Reach Same Consumer on TV and Mobile Devices

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AT&T is testing cross-screen addressable advertising that will allow marketers to reach the same consumers on both TV and on mobile devices.

Through a partnership with Opera Mediaworks, AT&T's system lets marketers run an ad on TV that targets a household matching a certain set of criteria, and then serve up a mobile ad and other relevant and interactive content to those same consumers on their devices.

Marketers will be able to reach the more than 12 million households that AT&T AdWorks currently serves addressable ads. AT&T will work with Opera to determine which mobile devices should receive a particular ad. Opera then sends the ad to apps on those devices.

No matter the wireless carrier, AT&T and Opera will be able to match all the mobile devices associated with a household and serve ads to those devices. There are about 30 million mobile devices associated with the 12 million AdWorks addressable households, according to Mike Welch, VP-strategy, product and business development, AT&T AdWorks.

"Cross-screen targeting has been talked about in the industry for years. Mobile and digital have been doing it, but the missing component has been TV," Mr. Welch said.

This is the latest new ad product following the merger of AT&T and DirecTV ad sales earlier this year.

The product can also measure engagement with the advertising in various ways, including a visit to a retail location, coupon redemption and in-person or a a digital purchase. Mr. Welch said the goal is to be able to ascertain the optimum mix and frequency of ads across screens that will get consumers to take action.

Instead of marketers making an addressable TV buy and then purchasing mobile separately and "hoping there's overlap," Mr. Welch said this allows them to get a true match in one buy.

"We want to create solutions for less waste across screens," he said.

AT&T is working with several marketers on trial runs, with plans to make the product available to the market in the first half of 2016.

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