Contextual Moments: A World-First in Advertising for Linear TV
Channel 4 Television
‘Contextual Moments’ uses artificial intelligence and machine learning together with cloud-based image recognition to automatically identify everything in content, highlighting specific ‘moments’ in TV shows deemed valuable to advertisers. For example, if two characters go jogging in Made in Chelsea, the next break features a Fitbit advert.
Channel 4’s data science team created this product, which can rapidly and accurately detect these moments across multiple categories. It followed months of ideation and research and development and prototyping. A trial was carried out across four brands - marking a world- first on linear TV. Channel 4 delivered ‘Contextual Moments’ at speed, identifying thousands of contextual opportunities and placing 200 contextually targeted ads.
Learnings from the trial included the building of a ‘Contextual Moments’ database and the creation of an approval portal to speed up the process by which the contextual moments ads can be approved.
The trial was a huge success for Channel 4, gaining significant attention and driving sales. In addition, Channel 4 undertook three different research studies which demonstrated how advertising in this way delivers enhanced advertising performance. These studies also demonstrated how contextual targeting has an effect on the brain and why it works so well.
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Channel 4 have created Contextual Moments, a world first tool which uses AI and machine learning to automatically find valuable contextual opportunities in our content which advertisers want to appear next to. For example, if 8 minutes into Made in Chelsea two characters are jogging, in the next ad break we’ll show and ad for FitBit.
Channel 4’s Data Science team created this in-house build product which can rapidly and accurately detect these moments across multiple categories. We then ran a trial on this product with four brands to deliver a world first on linear TV.
The results of this trial were astounding. We managed to deliver more than 200 AI driven contextually targeted spots on linear TV. In addition, we undertook three different research studies which demonstrated advertising in this way delivers enhanced advertising performance. These studies not only showed that advertising this way boosts brand metrics such as relevance, awareness and purchase consideration; but it also went further and demonstrated how contextual targeting has an effect on the brain and why it works so well.
The product was created by Channel 4’s Data Science team in partnership with C4 Sales in order to defend and grow our revenues, and because we can capitalise on the rich video content that TV delivers.
Contextual Moments is forecast to deliver significant revenue to C4 in 2019 and has already gained Channel 4 much attention as it seeks to stay on top of a shifting and changing advertising ecosystem.