Harris Showcases Targeted Advertising Platform at Cable Show

Harris Corp. is well-versed in the world of scheduled linear advertising, but, with increasing numbers of viewers watching content on demand or on non-linear channels, a new opportunity  for targeted advertising is emerging. Harris is taking advantage of that with its new Targeted Advertising Platform, being shown at this week’s NCTA Cable Show, designed to work as an add-on to the company’s tried-and-true linear capabilities.

The full Harris Targeted Advertising Platform provides traffic and billing functionality to linear and non-linear scheduling for service operators, cable networks, broadcast, mobile, and digital out-of-home network advertising models. The platform can target advertising by placement separation and priority and can address ads by audience qualifications.

“We’re developing modular capability that lets people advertise in real time in non-linear content,” explains Scott Criley, director of new media products, media, and workflow for Harris. “Our first offering out of the box is dynamic VOD. We can target an advertisement specifically to who you are; how granular we can target is dependent on how much we know about you.”

After the dynamic-VOD release of the platform, Harris will unveil additional releases for streaming media, including iPad applications, and addressable linear applications. The addressable apps will allow neighboring houses to receive different targeted advertising during a linear broadcast, for example.

For the past nine months, Harris has been working to develop its real-time capability for targeted advertising and is now firmly in the trial stage.

“Our strength as a company is helping to operationalize things within a system,” Criley says. “Although linear is not sexy, it still brings in about 95% of the ad revenue. The nice thing about our system is that, to bring us in, our customers don’t have to disrupt that 95% cash flow; they just interface our components, and they’re up and running.”

The biggest challenge in the development of the platform has been not the technology but the business practices that will power it. When Criley’s team asks how the platform will be sold, the sales team asks how it should be sold.

“It’s a chicken-and-egg problem about how we operationalize this,” Criley says. “What we’ve tried to do is align it closely with how people sell linear, so that the sales people can sell the two together. For the operations people, we try to make the terms and everything about it similar to how they work with linear. We’re trying to make the transition as easy as possible.”

To that end, an integrated Campaign Manager will simplify Harris clients’ purchase and management of multiple advertising product types, and a simplified workflow will manage consolidated billing and stewardship across all platforms.