Speaking to Marketing as Nestle’s programmatic technology partner TubeMogul releases its first report into Programmatic TV, Owen said brands were now starting to not only wake up to the possibility of automated, targeted media but was starting to drive the agenda.
"Programmatic in its entirety has been spoken about for years but it’s only really been the past 12 months from a brand’s perspective. We felt like we’d been left behind but in reality we hadn’t. Once you listen to others and you realise they are new to it, you realise you actually weren’t that behind," he said, "now programmatic TV is a hot topic but we’re here at the right time because we don’t want to be left behind".
Specifically, he said brands were now catching up to a point where they understand as much about the media buying technique as their agencies. "Brands are now at the same point [in understanding programmatic] as agencies, whereas before they were 18 months to two year ahead," he said.
According to Owen, echoing the findings of the report, the big opportunity for brands is to make TV more efficient by reducing wastage.
He said brands are keen to move to programmatic TV because chance to reduce wastage on advertising’s best channel for creativity and reach. He cited an example of Nestle pet care brand Purina, stating that while a big reach TV campaign did make sense, it delivered huge wastage each time because the ads are only useful if you own a dog, for example.
"TV inflation is up, you get great reach and coverage but if I can run the ads programmatically then I get display and video efficiency too," he said.
"I will pay more for programmatic, I might even pay two times as much because it drives efficiencies," he added.
But despite the awareness of these benefits starting to filter into brands, we are approaching a point where we may have a deficit between the demand and the ability to actually offer it. Currently Sky is the only over-the-top service that can offer addressable advertising. Channel 4 has, however, started to offer it over its video-on-demand service, signalling further investment could come down the line.
Another issue plaguing brands is around brand safety and ad fraud, issues that the automated nature of programmatic could complicate, despite its perceived transparency. Brands recently hit with brand safety and fraud issues included British Gas and O2.