Cox and NBCU Trial Dynamic Ad Insertion

ATLANTA and NEW YORK: NBC Universal and Cox Media said they’ve launched a dynamic advertising trial. The project intends to test the result of inserting different advertisements into the same on-demand programs. As many as four ads or promos in both programs are refreshed several times a week, including those at the start and those during the shows.

Cox and NBCU said they’re working “closely with a large advertiser” and inserting various ads into NBC’s “The Office” and “Monk” on USA Network. Both programs are available on Cox cable systems’ On Demand menu, which provides repeat access to popular shows the day after they air.

The trail is taking place in the Phoenix, Ariz., market, one of Cox’s largest. An earlier technical trail was conducted in Kansas and tested on Cox’s own on-demand Travel Channel content.

Gauging audience response is just one aspect of the trial. The companies said they are also working out the “division of responsibilities, operational hand-offs and processes necessary to enable successful dynamic ad insertion.” The Cox/NBCU project combines standards from the cable and the broadcast industries into a single workflow. The technology standards for dynamic ad insertion were recently established by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, so the necessary equipment is just coming online. Participating vendors include Avail-TVN, SeaChange International and Texscan NT.