#AdvancedAd 2016: Small Ad Loads in TV's Big Picture

Fox exec says immersive, interactive spots will preserve TV ad models
joe  marchese.jpg

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New York -- Thanks to ad-blocking tech, ad-skipping DVRs, and ad-free SVOD services or options from OTT services such as Netflix and Hulu, avoiding advertising has never been easier for the consumer, a trend that obviously does not bode well for the future of the TV ad model.

But TV’s ad future, particularly in an on-demand world, doesn’t have to be a bleak one, if the industry can come up with ways to reduce heavy ad loads in a way that is more tolerable to the viewer.

“I think the promise of advanced advertising is not to make more money; the promise of advanced advertising is to make the same money with a lot less ads,” Joe Marchese, president of advanced advertising products at Fox Networks Group and the founder of true[X], said during a keynote chat here Tuesday at the Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable Advanced Advertising and Measurement Summit.

Marchese, of course, sees the True[X] platform, acquired by Fox in 2014, to play a key part in that future by making ads more immersive, interactive and engaging.

Fox’s True[X], which recently struck a deal with Hulu, offers viewers the option to pick an “engagement” spot versus a heavier, more traditional ad load, ensuring that the message from the advertiser is relayed to the viewer.

Marchese said more than 80% of viewers opt for the interactive ad experience when given a choice, depending on the show.

“The real mission for advanced advertising is to get advertising to a place where it's at a tolerable level for consumers…at a price point that allows us to reduce the ad load enough to save the industry from itself,” he said in an interview with Jon Lafayette, business editor of Broadcasting & Cable.

Ads delivered in this engagement model carry a premium price, “but we remove more ads than the price point that we charge higher for,” he said.

And traditional TV ad models and approaches are ripe for change as more and more viewing occurs on demand.

“I think that the 30 second spot goes away because time becomes variable,” Marchese said, noting that the industry is still in the early stages of interactive storytelling. “When you [offer] an immersive experience, you can do 60 seconds, 90 seconds…you could do a two-hour feature length movie if you like. What you've done is you've bought attention, you bought someone's time on an interactive screen."