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Question of the day

Thursday, Oct 27, 2016

* NY Times

Targeting people with individualized TV commercials using cable or satellite boxes has been promoted as the future of television for at least a decade. But the business, known as addressable TV advertising, has remained on the fringes, usually limited to two minutes of local commercial time an hour on cable shows.

Now, AT&T and Time Warner are pointing to targeted advertising as a major benefit of their proposed $85 billion merger. Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner, and Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, highlighted the vast trove of consumer data their combined companies would have in a call with investors on Monday, and its usefulness for both marketers and consumers.

Viewers, with new subscription options, could enjoy fewer interruptions and see ads for “the products you’re interested in, not the ones you don’t need to see,” Mr. Bewkes said. National advertisers would presumably pay more to reach them and have an alternative to spending on Google and Facebook.

Targeted advertising has become commonplace on streaming services like Hulu or platforms like YouTube, where, for example, women in their 20s may see ads for birth control, pregnancy tests or certain movie trailers. Advertisers hope things could potentially move even beyond that on TV, with people seeing ads based on, for instance, their location or individual interests, much like what happens on the internet. Still, skepticism over whether the AT&T-Time Warner merger will normalize the practice for traditional TV is rife within the ad industry.

* The Question: The individualized Illinois political campaign ads of the future?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    Rich, no poll is showing up.

    As to individualized political ads of the future, they can use this as a template ;)

  2. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Great. Get ready for a barrage of anti-MJM ads featuring him wearing his pants like overalls.

  3. - The Way I See It - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    It will still be …. because Madigan!!!

  4. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    Maybe I’ll be able to get in my robot-driven car to escape my TMI television

  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    “Mrs. Kowalski. Justine Marie Kowalski. Do not adjust your television. Our records indicate you have not yet voted in the 13th Ward, precinct 22. Don’t bother changing channels, you cannot escapte this targeted message.

    If you value your extra blue cart recycling bin, you have until November 8th to cast your ballot. Mr. Moody has asked you nicely, now we need you to act. Do not disappoint me.”

  6. - Been There - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===The individualized Illinois political campaign ads of the future?===
    This couldn’t come soon enough. It would be great not seeing all these political commercials for people I can’t even vote for.

  7. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    Hi, this is Governor Bruce Rauner. If this is Mr. Smith, press one on your remote. If this is Mrs. Smith, please press two for an alternate message.

  8. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    Wouldn’t it kind of depend on how the targeting worked? I mean, if I’m a solid Dem (or GOP), I don’t need to see ads from my own side, since I’m already sure of who I’m voting for. And I really don’t need to see them from the other side for the exact same reason. So is the idea that it would be targeted to the undecideds?

  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:15 pm:

    “Hi Vannie!”
    “I bet your back from bobcat hunting and popped on the television to see “Naughty Pizza Deliveries VI”

    “Before you sit back with your PBR and an Acid smoke, you’re going to want to know why you ought to vote for Bruce Rauner next Tuesd…”


  10. - truth squad - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    If only Rich could do this with his ad program…….

  11. - zatoichi - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    I pretty much ignore ads. Blocks are used on line. Video is fast forwarded through the commercials. On cable, I see ads for politicians running in Champaign (100 miles from me) who I will never see. Robos get hung up. Mailers get canned. These groups plan on big profits by targeted individualizing ads? Good luck with that.

  12. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    “Hello, Mr. Burgundy. Like your namesake, Donald Trump is kind of a big deal, with many leather-bound books and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany. He also thinks Diversity is the name of an old wooden ship.”

  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    “Now listen Vannie”
    “I know you hate me, but it’s not my fault. Michael Madigan has kept Illinois from reformin’, and…”


  14. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===The individualized Illinois political campaign ads of the future?===

    If Rauner’s going to blow tens of millions of dollars on legislative races and the state party is going to send dozens of mailers to every household in a targeted district and they’re not creating targeted mailers off of easily available public information and other models then I have no reason to believe they’d use a targeted campaign commercial effectively either.

  15. - The Captain - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    If you’re selling targeted ads what do the non-targets watch? Let’s say I turn on the 10 o’clock news and each of you are seeing a targeted ad at the first commercial break but my household doesn’t fall into any of the target groups for those ads, what commercial(s) do I see?

  16. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    “Gee, what’s VanillaWife gonna say when she discovers that you got home to watch that nasty movie? I’d sure hate to have her discover that you didn’t do that load of laundry in the washer or put the toilet seat down…”

    “There - that’s more like it!”

    “Vannie I need your support. I could get a lot of mileage out of any nice words you can put in for me at CapFax. Everyone there knows you like me about as much as I do a bottle of Cupcake Pint Grigio. So if you could just cut me some slack, I’d not tell your wife about those other movies you’ve been watching!”



  17. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    “The individualized Illinois political campaign ads of the future?”

    “Hello friend, our records show that you vote in every election and always pull the same party primary ballot. Send us fifty bucks and we promise to never waste it on ads directed at people like you.”

    Dunno. Could work…

    – MrJM

  18. - Postbot 6000 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    The good news is that if you stop voting they will stop targeting you. For all the people who constantly complain about mailers and tv ads this is your ticket out.

  19. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    “The Speaker has a message for you…hold on…”

    “Vannie, I want you to know that if the Governor tells your wife about your disgusting taste in entertainment, I’ll help you out. I have a few clients that could fix your Visa statement and instead of seeing titles like “An Officer and a Gentlewoman Pt. 4″, it’d say, “Sound of Music”, or “Shirley Temple Goes To Mars”.

    “Don’t make any kind of deal with Rauner.”

    “You like PBR?”

    “I know a guy…”


  20. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:48 pm:

    “Michael Madigan”
    “I just got word that Rauner has a lot of stuff about you that will make Donald Trump look like Andy Griffith. Bad stuff!”

    “Glad you’re not married to Lisa!”

    “You disgust me!”

  21. - Porgy Tirebiter - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    Just think of money you could make selling personalized tin foil hats to the Walsh supporters!

  22. - Hit or Miss - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 2:54 pm:

    ===and its usefulness for both marketers and consumers.===

    I would that most of the usefulness of the targeting would be to the advantages of the marketers and only a small amount of usefulness, in many cases, would go to the consumers.

    For political ads, the usefulness would be high if an office seeker would want to reach their ‘base’. If they want to reach the undecided so as to push their vote totals over the 50% level, then the targeting would be more questionable. For it to be viable one probably needs to be able to know who is undecided or can easily be convinced to change their vote.

  23. - Responsa - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:01 pm:

    “Hi. We thought you were dead because we saw your name in the obituaries three years ago. But since you’ve voted twice since then apparently you are not dead at all. In that case- please vote for candidate XXX on Tuesday. You know which party.”

  24. - Anon Downstate - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    “Advertisers hope things could potentially move even beyond that on TV, with people seeing ads based on, for instance, their location or individual interests, much like what happens on the internet.”

    Easy to say, incredibly hard to accomplish.

    That’s part of the background for all the money and time being invested for Google Maps, Apple Maps, and OpenStreetMap.

    Remember, your cell phone or internet connected device sends out like 5-6 ‘broadcasts’ to ID your location every minute (as long as the device battery is installed).

    Part of that data being broadcast is your unique device identifier and the device’s current GPS coordinate values (See “Stingray” issues currently being used by law enforcement). Using a current IP address by itself won’t positively ID your location.

    But IF you can tie that location data being broadcast to GPS coordinate values (which is part of the data being broadcast) to a digital map environment, well you’re getting a lot closer to where the advertisers want to be - except everything has to go through Google, Apple, or AWS (Amazon Web Services).

    Imagine what that will do to the local advertising market???

    That’s why Google and Apple (& AWS) are investing BIG MONEY yearly on their respective mapping environments.

    You ain’t seen nothing yet….

    “When they say it’s not about the money, it’s ALWAYS about the money”……

  25. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    In the old days, if I voted after work instead of before, I’d get home to a Post It on my door reminding to go vote for Ritchie Daley.

  26. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:29 pm:

    When we can filter ads so that only positive ads come through, then I will be happy.

  27. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    ===Let’s say I turn on the 10 o’clock news and each of you are seeing a targeted ad at the first commercial break but my household doesn’t fall into any of the target groups for those ads, what commercial(s) do I see?

    I’m getting Hulu commercials on California propositions this year so…

  28. - Gooner - Thursday, Oct 27, 16 @ 3:45 pm:

    “The Madigan Machine has embraced the Tottenham Hotspurs. Vote Rauner. We all hate the Spuds” as article flashes noting visit by random Democrat to a certain section of north London.

    While I’m not sure it would work on me, it might work on my son. He takes Arsenal football pretty seriously.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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