Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast, and Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) announced the results of a second market trial for addressable advertising, which was completed in Baltimore last year.

Comcast Spotlight and SMG said the household addressability trial improved ad relevance by delivering different ads within the same commercial break on selected cable networks to different household groupings, based on non-personally identifiable demographics and aligned with advertiser segments.

The trial used Invidi’s Advatar addressable technology and reached approximately 60,000 households, with SMG serving as the media partner throughout.

In order to address potential privacy concerns, Comcast notified all consumers in the trial area in advance and offered multiple ways to opt out, including mailing a form in a self-addressed, stamped envelope; calling a dedicated, toll-free hotline; or completing an online form.

Analysis of the anonymous set-top box data from the Baltimore trial found that viewers who saw ads directed to households within a particular group were less likely to change channels. Overall, homes receiving addressable advertising tuned away 32 percent less of the time than homes that received non-addressable advertising.

The trial also demonstrated a 65 percent greater efficiency from sending ads only to relevant groupings that the advertiser wanted to reach, based on the per-spot costs of addressable and non-addressable ads.

The Baltimore trial was the second test of household addressability conducted by Comcast Spotlight and SMG. A technical trial involving 8,000 households was conducted in Huntsville, Ala., from 2006-08 and was supported by OpenTV’s SpotOn addressable platform.

Comcast Spotlight also worked with Experian Marketing Services and Kantar Media, formerly TNS Media Research, in connection with the trial. Major marketers participating in trial included Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart.

"Our partnership with Comcast Spotlight over the past three years has proven to be invaluable as we seek to shape and advance the future of TV advertising to be more accountable and measurable,” said Tracey Scheppach, senior vice president and innovations director at SMGX, a unit of Starcom MediaVest Group.

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