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Sky AdSmart: What is it and should we be using it?

By the end of 2017, Sky AdSmart had reached a couple of landmarks: Clydesdale bank became the 10,000th campaign launched and, in total, over 5 billion impressions had been delivered on the platform. Every 2 days a new or lapsed TV advertiser selects AdSmart as their platform of choice.

Launched in 2014, the platform enables advertisers to target TV to specific audiences over 1,400 attributes including third-party data and a high level of regional targeting that had only been available previously via terrestrial stations ITV1 and Channel 4, and not on multichannel stations at all.

So, should we be using it more than we do?

All Response Media viewpoint
As always, at All Response Media, we always review the holistic merits of each media channel before making recommendations. Additionally, with a third of all audio-visual advertising forecast to be addressable by 2022, it would be churlish to ignore or dismiss it.

But, currently there are some limitations:

  • The cost per thousand varies by the parameters you add on, but even low-end targeting is prohibitive versus regular DRTV for those expecting a direct return on their investment.
  • Measurability is seen as a selling point, but this is limited overall and not to the high standards that we set ourselves via our ARMalytics® platform.
  • Optimisation of scheduling is therefore not possible. Sky don’t give out specific data on ‘spots’ and retail footprints or call data has to be analysed at an upper macro level.
  • The targeting is very useful, but it is still only at a household level: Sky doesn’t know who in the home is actually watching at this time.
  • Much of the Sky AdSmart delivery comes from zero-rated spot (ZRS) inventory, which doesn’t cost anything and comes for free with regular TV advertising.

So, would we consider it at all?

Sky AdSmart advertisers have a 64% return rate. This would suggest there is a success to be found, although many will not be looking for direct results but to extend the reach of their advertising to a particular audience.

Additionally, for advertisers that have specific niche audiences that are not directly buyable and low budgets, e.g. regional activity or cherry-picked audiences, the platform can offer a low entry point with seemingly low wastage.

Note, the majority of advertisers on AdSmart are new to TV overall, suggesting that the platform does offer something to a particular set of advertisers that want to use TV.

To conclude, our TV entry point for most advertisers would always be daytime TV: it’s affordable with a low cost per thousand and starting budget, measurable, optimisable via ARMalytics® and you know exactly when and where it is being delivered.

However, we always remain open to price changes or clients with a specific need where AdSmart does fit the brief, continuing our approach to be nimble, adaptable, but smart with our clients’ budgets.