Channel 4 to test AI-powered adtech that places ads within a show's context

At its Upfronts today, Channel 4 will be demonstrating a new, AI-driven, TV advertising tech that make sit possible for the broadcaster to place a brand's ads next to relevant scenes in a linear show.

Channel 4 to test AI-powered adtech that places ads within a show's context

Channel 4 is seeking advertising partners to test its exclusively owned, tech-driven commercial innovation live on linear TV later this year.

This "Contextual Moments" solution automatically identifies unique scenarios within a programme that present valuable contextual opportunities for advertisers.

For example, a character in a show might be seen enjoying a cup of tea and this scene may appeal to a tea brand whose ad would then be placed in the following break.

Channel 4 plans to make bundles of these nuanced contextual moments available to brands under categories such as food, hot drinks, relationships or mobile phones.

"Our ‘Contextual Moments’ trial offers advertisers the ability to buy bundles of relevant advertising within a quality and safe broadcast environment for the first time ever," Jonathan Allan, chief commercial officer, Channel 4, said. 

Research from Channel 4 and BDRC Continental has shown that viewers are twice as likely to remember an ad when it is viewed contextually, compared to one placed in a regular TV spot.

The study found that it improved brand performance metrics – including uplifts in spontaneous awareness (+34%) as well as positive brand perception (+12%) and purchase intent (+13%).

Prior to this breakthrough, a food brand would achieve context by placing their campaign around cooking shows, but using this new tech, food brand ads can be inserted into breaks around multiple food-specific "moments’, found in the editorial of other shows, such as a character in a drama baking a cake or a dinner party scene in a comedy.

This use of AI comes from Channels 4’s data science team and will combine both audio and visual data to automatically identify prominent, positive moments within a show. Channel 4 promises "absolute brand safety" because negative moments will be discarding the negative and human validation will make the final call. 


Save time, inform your growth strategy and interrogate raw data yourself with Campaign AI, our bespoke data intelligence service.

Schedule a demo

Enjoying Campaign’s content?

 Get unlimited access to Campaign’s premium content for your whole company with a corporate licence.

Upgrade access

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content