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ITV launches “game-changing” artificial intelligence ad targeting tool


ITV has introduced a new artificial intelligence tool for advertisers to provide insights into moods, objects and moments in programmes that can be used to fine-tune campaigns.

Automated Contextual Targeting (ACT) has been developed by ITV’s AdLabs and has been launched with Boots and Sainsbury’s.

The system uses AI technology to scan through every show on the ITV Hub and then categorises each scene. It has the ability to recognise facial expressions and words spoken within shows

What that means is that where an advertiser may typically buy Food as a Contextual theme and target shows like Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook, the ACT algorithm gives them the ability to target moods, objects and moments.

So, agencies can then target Food, Drink and Mealtimes moments when they include ACT within their package, whether it be via a mealtime shown on Coronation Street, or contestants having a dinner date on Love Island. 

“More than ever, brands want to buy adjacency to the biggest and most talked shows on TV, but so do with relevance,” said Jayesh Rajdev, Controller of Advanced Advertising for ITV.

“Following months of development and testing under AdLabs, our ACT pilot utilises cutting-edge tech to help brands fine tune the contextual relevance of their ITV addressable campaigns.” 

Via PHD, Sainsbury’s will be targeting Food, Drink & Mealtimes as an ACT buy for its new Christmas campaign.

While Boots, through MediaCom, is aimed at Moments of Joy and Beauty And Cosmetics themes.

“Participating in Test & Learn initiatives with AdLabs has been hugely valuable, not just for our learning but for our brand results,” added Pete Markey, CMO at Boots.

“Aligning with contextual moments is hugely important in our marketing activity, but particularly at Christmas, as aligning with those moments of joy is integral to our strategy.”

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