Advanced TV Leftovers = New Opportunity for DRTV Industry

A new trend has emerged where cable networks are collaborating with MVPD and vMVPD partners to turn their national ad inventory into something far more appealing to brand advertisers.  Armed with new capabilities, cable networks are already starting to offer brand advertisers the ability to target their television commercial to their ideal audience.  This creates an opportunity for direct response advertisers to have their commercials delivered, during the same ad breaks, to all the leftover households.

Before we get into how these new “advanced advertising” break types work, let’s look at how national cable break types have worked historically.

On the left side of the diagram below, a cable network sends its signal via satellite to two different MVPDs.  If you aren’t familiar with the term, and haven’t clicked one of the links above, MVPD is short for Multiple Video Program Distributor.  MVPD is a catch-all phrase to describe all of the television distribution companies that sell access to network cable programming via cable, satellite, fiber, or via internet (the latter referred to as an vMVPD where “v” is short for “virtual”).   In the past, we’ve only had to understand and deal with two break types.  We had the national ad break, in which commercials were seen by viewers nationwide, and we had the local ad break.  Most cable networks cut to a local ad break 2 minutes out of every hour.  As shown below, a cable network has sold a commercial to Expedia to run during a local ad break.  Buying this type of ad break is how direct response advertisers have purchased leftovers at a discount for many years.

To help explain, local ad breaks are preceded by a Digital Program Insertion (DPI) signal. Most MVPDs have ad-insertion equipment that listens for the DPI signal. As soon as the DPI signal is detected, the ad insertion equipment begins inserting commercials sold by the MVPD to local advertisers. In the diagram below, one of the two MVPDs is shown inserting a Flex Tape commercial covering up the Expedia commercial. In most markets, including urban markets, the MVPDs aggressively sell local advertising covering up most, if not all, of the ads like Expedia running on the network at the same time.  However, in smaller rural markets, the MVPD may not sell local advertising as demonstrated by the second MVPD below which doesn’t insert an ad allowing the Expedia ad to be seen by viewers in their market.  These are the leftovers that direct response advertisers expect to receive when buying local break inventory from the cable networks today.

With new advanced television advertising models, the networks use a different type of DPI signal to let certain MVPDs, who have a contract with the network,  know that it’s time for them to deliver the advanced advertising commercial to its intended audience.  At the same time, the network may run a direct response commercial on its network feed to be viewed by any households not otherwise targeted by the advanced advertising campaign.  One of the network groups stated that a smaller universe of MVPDs are currently involved in their advanced advertising programs.  To other MVPDs, this new type of ad break looks just like any other national ad break which they are not allowed to cover up.  Accordingly, the audience composition for this new type of ad break is likely quite different in comparison to the traditional local break.

DRMetrix is the first television research company to monitor national cable DPI signals in order to recognize and segment between the two traditional ad break types.  Our company is currently collaborating with cable networks in an attempt to detect the alternative DPI signals that are starting to be used in the marketplace to signal these new advanced advertising breaks.  For now, DRMetrix flags all commercials running outside of normal local breaks as “national”.

Some networks have taken to inserting direct response ads in local breaks and their new advanced advertising breaks billing both types under the traditional “local” billing code.  Some agencies have started to notice the discrepancy as DRMetrix continues to report the advanced advertising breaks as “national”.  DRMetrix has had to explain to various agencies what is happening and quite often the agencies are unaware of the new break type.  So, we thought this article would help to set the record straight!

Please provide us with your feedback and questions on our blog!  We’d love to hear from you.

New AdSphere Build – 5-13-2019

We’re happy to bring you a new build of AdSphere with several new features.

Share Reports & Filters

Now you can share AdSphere reports and filters with your business colleagues.  Click below image for video tutorial

Search by TFN/800 or URL

Have you ever wanted to search for creatives/brand by toll free number or URL?  Now you can!  Click below image for video tutorial

UPDATE 6/4/19 – Instead of requiring 4 characters, the URL search now works with a minimum of 3 characters.   New columns for TFN and URL have been added at summary report level.  Video below has been updated. 

Download Thumbnail Views

Now when viewing a thumbnail image, you can download a .jpg file on the fly!

 

Global Search “View All” creative reports now include airing counts.

 

Configure Alerts page now shows full category / sub-category description for each alert.

Enhancement to Video and Thumbnail descriptions.

When you play a video from Network Log View, the date/time will be shown in broadcast time and we’ve added the brand and creative name to the text description.  Similarly, when you output an airing detail report in broadcast day, the video links will show broadcast date/time.  In all other instances, the video descriptions will indicate calendar date/time.  We hope these new descriptions will help to reduce confusion!

 

 

In addition to the above features, this new build addresses various bug fixes and areas of performance optimization.

Please do let us know if you discover any new bugs with this build so we can quickly squash them!!

3rd Annual AdSphere™ Awards Recognize Top DRTV Advertisers in 2018

Progressive, Nutrisystem, E. Mishan & Sons, Guthy-Renker, Luminess Direct, Proactiv+, and the late George Smith among those being honored

DRMetrix, the leading research company for the DRTV industry announces its 3rd annual AdSphere™ Awards honoring the most effective direct response television advertisements airing on national television outlets in 2018.

DRMetrix created the AdSphere Awards to honor the top advertisers and brands in the industry. The awards will be presented to recipients attending PDMI EAST 2019, where leaders in Performance-Driven Marketing will come together in Miami, Florida from March 31st – April 2nd, 2019.  AdSphere Awards is the first awards program to be inclusive of the entire DRTV industry with advertisers such as Allergan, AT&T Services, AbbVie, Vista Print, Zillow, TripAdvisor, Lens Crafters, and many others being honored.

“The AdSphere awards recognize best-of-class advertisers across four industry classifications including short-form products, lead generation, brand/direct, and 28.5-minute infomercials,” said Joseph Gray, AdSphere Awards founder and CEO of DRMetrix. “Performance-based campaigns achieving this level of scale demonstrate consumer popularity and also best-in-class creative and media execution. The AdSphere Awards are the most inclusive ever for the DRTV industry recognizing nearly 70 honorees including all of our best-of-category award recipients.”

AdSphere monitors a universe of 125+ national networks on a 24/7/365 basis.  In just over four years, AdSphere has identified over 10,000 brand-direct and direct response brands. In addition to detecting over 384,000 infomercial (28.5 minute) airings, AdSphere has detected over 40 million spots of varying creative lengths up to five minutes in duration.  The awards recognize top brands across a wide range of industry categories representing all facets of the DRTV industry. AdSphere segments DRTV campaigns across 20 major categories and 145 sub-categories. The complete list of “Best of Category” AdSphere Award winners for 2018 is online at www.drmetrix.com/adsphere-awards.html.

In addition to the “Best of Category” awards, the following top six advertisers of 2018 will receive the coveted AdSphere Award:

Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification -Brand/Direct
Progressive

Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification – Lead Generation
Nutrisystem

Advertiser of the Year
Classification – Short-Form Products
E. Mishan & Sons

Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification – Long-Form
Guthy | Renker – Meaningful Beauty

Brand of the Year
Classification – Short-Form Retail Products
Luminess Silk Infinite Beauty Collection

2017 – Brand of the Year
Classification – Short-Form Products
Proactiv+

Industry Veteran, George Smith, who passed away on 2/14/19 will also be honored with an AdSphere Award for his lifetime of achievements on behalf of the direct response television industry.

 

Bringing English & Hispanic Together!

No political statements being made here. That said, this month we’ll be combining airings for both English and Hispanic networks in our default AdSphere rankings and on our weekly Retail Reporting to make sure advertisers are getting ranking credit for both English & Hispanic buys in one integrated view. You’ll still be able to change the default filters and choose English only rankings (classic view), Spanish or “both” which will be the new default. DRMetrix looks forward to monitoring more Hispanic networks in 2019.

What Day of the Week is it?

Day of Week field has been added to Airing Detail Reports in AdSphere!

Speaking of Airing Detail reports, forget about manually downloading them! Did you know you can automate the monitoring and reporting of airing details for multiple brands / creatives with our AVS™ system? Now you can create a powerful BI dashboard to provide your clients with an unprecedented view of their competition. Discover the AVS™ API that makes it possible to create REAL TIME competitive tracking solutions.  AdSphere™ clients, ask us about AVS™ and get started today for free!

New AdSphere Build – 9-27-2018

A new build has been released today with a few new features.

VIDEO DOWNLOAD

You’ll find a new download icon to the bottom left of the DRMetrix Video Player (as shown below) which will download an .MP4 version of the video to your computer.

Please only click the download button once.  Then look at the bottom of your browser where you should see the file downloading (as shown below).  If you click the video download icon multiple times, you are instructing your browser to download the file multiple times which will count against your monthly download limit.

When the file is fully downloaded a little down arrow will appear.  Click the arrow and a menu will open.  It is recommended that you choose ‘Show in folder’ so that you know which directory on your computer the file has been downloaded to.  This will be helpful should you wish to email or access the file in the future.  On most computers, there is a dedicated download folder configured for such files although users can change the default download directory at will.  If you need additional assistance, please contact your company technical support or email [email protected]

To prevent abuse, there is a monthly per user limit of 100 downloads a month.  We recommend using the cloud based link sharing in situations where a hard copy download is not required.  There are no limits with the cloud based link sharing.  For example, the ‘copy to clipboard’ icon on the button right of the video player (see below) allows you to copy the video link for any video which you can then share by pasting the link into any email or document.  The cloud based links expire after 30 days.

 

NEW BLACK THEME

If you’ve ever found the light blue fonts hard to read in AdSphere then this feature is for you!  From the home tab of AdSphere, you’ll find a toggle switch located at the top right of the page.  You can toggle between our original theme and the new Black theme.  It’s easy to switch back and forth so give it a try!

 

The new black theme darkens all of the font colors making them easier to read and also toggles the light blue font to a dark underlined font which now denotes where the hyperlinks are located.  As you can see, the Brand, Advertiser, and Airing links are all underlined meaning you can click them to be redirected to the appropriate page.

 

ASSISTANT ADMIN FEATURE

Existing ADMN users please take note.  You can now elevate users to the role of ASSISTANT ADMN so they can help you administer the AdSphere Account.  Once you elevate any user to this role, they will receive an email notifying them with instructions.

The process to elevate a user to assistant administrator is very straightforward.  From the home tab of AdSphere, ADMIN users have a person icon located in the upper right of the page as shown below:

After you click the person icon, you’ll be taken to the user setup page listing all of your current users.  Find the user you wish to elevate to assistant administrator and click the little gear icon on the far right.  Then click EDIT USER.

 

You’ll now find a clickable box for Assistant ADMIN that you can check.  When finished click the blue SAVE button at the bottom.  If you wish to unassign the Assistant ADMN role in the future, please use the same procedure and uncheck the Assistant ADMIN box and click SAVE.

 

We hope everyone enjoys these new features!  Thank you for being our customer!

New AdSphere™ Build to be released on 5/23/18

Call it what you will!

If you click “Don’t show me this again” it will turn off Excel Popups system wide. You can always re enable them from within the My Reports Tab.

If you’ve ever wanted to customize, or change, the name of any file or saved FILTER inside of AdSphere, now you can!

Before we get started, please log into AdSphere™ and go to the MY REPORTS tab.  On the upper right side of the page, please make sure that Excel Popup is Enabled.

Assuming your Excel Popups are enabled, whenever you click to create an Excel output anywhere in AdSphere a window will popup as shown above.  You can click into the file name field and customize the name of the Excel file that will be created.  If you change your mind, you can click the refresh icon in blue and the system will reset the name of the file back to the system default.  Click OK to proceed.  When you go to the My Reports tab to retrieve your report, it will be named as you specified.  This is great if you wish to name reports on the fly as you create them throughout the system.

 

Rename Reports & Filters

You can also click on any file name inside of My Reports or My Filters and rename them at any time.

New Way to Share Videos!

DRMetrix has made it easy to share hundreds of videos in seconds with its multi-brand, advertiser, and brand level creative EXCEL exports.  But what if you only want to share one video?  In this build, we’ve added a COPY TO CLIPBOARD icon which you can see in the picture above.  Just click to play any video and then click this icon at the bottom right of the video player.   Once the video link is copied to your computer’s clipboard, you can PASTE it into any document, email, etc.  Now you can share any video in seconds!

To paste the video link into a document or email:

MAC – Use the key combination COMMAND+V

PC – Use the key combination CTRL+V

Videos Now work with IOS / iPhones!

Our development team has resolved the issues with iphones so Adsphere video links from Tracking & Alerts, Weekly Spend Index Rankings, and links from our new copy/paste feature can all be played back from IOS devices now.  Note:  Due to recent changes made by Google videos may playback with audio muted.  For now, you can click to enable sound but we are working on a fix which we’ll be rolling out very soon.

Web Profiles

For various contacts on Advertiser pages, you will find a new “webprofile” logo as shown below.  These will generally link to a web page where profile information on the contact exists.

More DPI information

Following on the lead of our last build, we have added DPI graphics to networks on our Airing Detail pages in both the network drop down and in the network list at the bottom of the page.  Many of our users leverage DPI to help isolate Per Inquiry schedules.  Please see the section in our AdSphere User Guide “Isolating Per Inquiry Schedules” for more information.  To learn more about DPI, please click here.