Connekt’s connected TV advertising platform lets viewers shop right from linear TV ads
The company's "data augmentation layer" can deliver ad overlays that users can engage with in real time and powers retargeting across other connected devices.
Interactive overlays in ads shown on connected TV ads isn’t all that new, but Connekt wants to take ad targeting and engagement on connected TVs to a new level, and it wants to be there through the entire process.
The new company that aims to change the way consumers engage with TV advertising has emerged from stealth mode this week. San Francisco-based Connekt delivers overlays on connected TV content and ads that enable users to interact with and even buy directly from ads in real time.
“We’re determined to transform TV from a one-way communication medium to a fully immersive experience for viewers and brands,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, Connekt co-founder and CEO, in an announcement.
The company has already established distribution, media and data and measurement partnerships. LG, Roku, Sony and Hisense/TiVo are among the distribution platforms working with Connekt. It has commerce deals with CBS, HBO and Showtime. The company is tied in with Gracenote, a Nielsen company, for targeting and measurement.
An ‘augmentation layer’ for linear TV ads
Connekt offers “connected TV opportunities for advertisers to connect directly with consumers,” said Fitzsimmons in a phone interview. “A key distinction is in our viewpoint. Regardless of TV delivery, if there’s an IP address tied to the device, it is available to the technology. We’re not in the ad delivery game … [W]e offer an augmentation layer where advertisers are running creative already.”
Say a big box retailer is set to spend $50 million on a Q4 holiday shopping campaign. Connekt would enable those existing TV commercials to be interactive, provide additional information to consumers and digitally enhance existing linear ads viewed on any connected TV, explains Fitzsimmons.
Behind the scenes, Connekt is plugged in with Gracenote’s Video ACR (automatic content recognition) technology which is plugged into some 25 million smart TVs and can identify what content or ad is being delivered at the moment. The Video ACR signal gets sent to Connekt’s server, which processes the user data and pushes back a digital overlay from which consumers can take action against the ad they are watching. The whole process happens in real time. Gracenote also partners with Connekt competitor Ensequence.
The Video ACR signal gets sent to Connekt’s server, which processes the user data and pushes back a digital overlay from which consumers can take action against the ad they are watching. The whole process happens in real time. Gracenote also partners with Connekt competitor Ensequence.
Fitzsimmons explains that Connekt sits in the midst of three main data sources:
- Information about what’s playing from Gracenote;
- Advertiser-supplied data about the products being featured in the ads; and
- Data about the actions consumers take from the overlays, including purchases.
“We have built a cognitive engine that introduces an unprecedented level of intelligence into the TV advertising formula,” said David Rudnick, Connekt co-founder and CTO, in a statement.
The platform offers several capabilities, including retargeting consumers who’ve watched a TV ad when they’re on other digital devices, such as their smartphones. The company’s T-Commerce product enables transactions from ads including commerce, coupons and samples, request for information, store locators, social sharing and push to mobile.
For example, it can match consumer profiles with pre-existing registration services as shown in the Dunkin’ Donuts example shown at the top of this article. Ad overlays can appear in-ad as well as in content to provide new advertising opportunities. Connected TV viewers can make purchases from Connekt’s ShopTV app.
Connekt has been working with agencies and directly with some brands during the stealth period.
“Video is the most important medium for us in the advertising community,” said Bre Rossetti, senior vice president of innovation at Havas, a multinational ad agency. “Connekt makes ads more interactive and persuasive, and backs them with intelligence about TV viewers’ habits to help us make more informed decisions about where to spend. Connekt even goes a step further to offer a path from content to commerce. That’s a powerful proposition.”
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