“TV in Context” Targets TV Ads

May 2009

Summary:  Taking a page from websites, networks and cable channels have introduced “TV in Context,” with ads that are “contextual” in the sense that they are tailored to a particular moment or scene in a given show.

Cable channels and networks have expanded their program, “TV in Context,” of placing ads in TV shows and movies that play off a particular scene in a scripted series of a movie.  For example, just after a crash scene in the Bourne Supremacy, an ad for the in-car service OnStar said “Are you counting on your cellphone to be your lifeline in a car crash?”  (See the New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/business/media/20adco.html?fta=y.

What is surprising is that it has taken networks (and cable channels) so long to get here.  For decades, advertisers have made sure that their ads are not placed in the wrong place—e.g., an ad for a Chevrolet just after a fatal car accident occurs in a TV series in which a GM car is involved.  And this is innovation?

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