Sky Media continued at the forefront of TV innovation with the announcement of their new Smart Sponsorship offering. By combining pre-existing addressable TV technology, with the sponsorship platform, the TV giant claims the latest modernisation will allow brands to create ‘even more effective partnerships with our shows and channels’.
Smart sponsorship utilises Sky’s already well established Adsmart platform. Launched in the UK in 2014, Adsmart enables brands to target highly specific audiences in a way not previously possible on traditional linear TV. Ads can be served with high levels of granularity, ranging from simple geographic areas, right up to using Sky’s customer data to target specific individuals. Adsmart is now available across over 100 stations, and over 450 brands used the platform in 2021.
This new technology opens the opportunity for local and geographic creative executions, giving advertisers the ability to tailor bespoke messages. Alignment is available for specific locations: such as country, county, city, council area and even down to postcodes. It also allows sponsorship across specific regions only, meaning regional advertisers now have access to sponsorships, whereas previously they would have been able only to access regional weather and news sponsorships across ITV. It could be argued, of course, that this may only be relevant to regional advertisers, and Sky may struggle to sell some regional sections of a sponsorship once it’s been divided up.
In addition to regional messaging, Smart Sponsorship will grant advertisers the opportunity to speak to different segments of their customer base. For example, a car brand could change idents dynamically to show different models based on audience affluence or life stage. More broadly, advertisers will also have the chance to speak to current or lapsed customers, tweaking the creative messaging accordingly, ensuring advertisers are delivering the most pertinent creative to resonate with their audience.
Although when used alone this new service can offer great benefit to advertisers, its use in conjunction with other Sky services will allow advertisers to make the most of the new opportunity. When paired with Sky AdVance capabilities, advertisers will be able to retarget households, which have been served the Smart Sponsorship advert, through other digital media channels. One of the extra benefits of including regional targeting is the extra layers this will give to web attribution data, allowing advertisers and agencies to gain more insight into the success of their campaign beyond eyeballs on a screen.
It will be interesting to see how Sky’s new Smart Sponsorship service will land with advertisers and audiences, as it offers media planners a route into the nation’s homes via regionally specific or audience bespoke idents, which were previously off-limit in the sponsorship space.