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Automatic pilot: Those making the best video ad campaigns of tomorrow are embracing new technology today

This is an exciting time for creatives. With opportunities for groundbreaking advertising campaigns proliferating across different media and addressable advertising now within reach, great creative can make a bigger impact than ever.

Yet many creatives and media agencies find themselves frustrated; stuck in the mire of outdated and complicated workflows, they can see the potential of personalised advertising, but executing their own targeted campaign seems impossible.

Now is the time to get moving.

Those agencies that are streamlining workflows now are set up to succeed. Even if they’re not yet ready to deliver an addressable campaign – no, especially if they’re not yet ready – agencies should be freeing themselves from cumbersome workflows built around decades old technology. By improving efficiencies today they’ll immediately save time and money, and as soon as they are ready to build their first targeted campaign, there’s nothing to hold them back.

It’s TV, but not as you know it

With connected TVs in an ever-increasing number of households, cleverly targeted advertising is already a reality: Sky’s addressable arm, Sky Adsmart, alone has a reach of 42% of households in the UK. Showing subtly different messages to carefully segmented audience demographics can have a dramatic impact on brand engagement, and now it’s easy for advertisers to do.

And it’s not just for big brands: local advertisers can now build small campaigns to be shown to specific geographic areas. So as well as creating more relevant and – crucially – cost-effective campaigns, addressable technology is opening up TV advertising to a whole new group of brands: 70% of the UK’s Sky Adsmart advertisers have never advertised on TV before.

This targeted advertising means that within each campaign, different ads can be shown to different households. With hundreds, or even thousands, of versions for each ad incorporating different iterations of content, written information (e.g. the phone number for the brand’s local outlet), and more, the complex distribution processes behind every campaign are innovating quickly to make sure they can keep up. A recent Ford campaign in the US had 32K versions. Thirty-two thousand. Distribution systems built for traditional TV campaigns just can’t deliver that sort of volume. Manual processes which were perfect for single campaigns just aren’t going to cut it. Now is the time to simplify workflows, and embrace the potential of automation and new technology to ensure that the potential of targeted ads can be fully realised.

And of course, simplifying workflows will always save time, money and effort, so it makes sense to move towards streamlined processes sooner rather than later. The wave of addressable advertising is coming. Wax your proverbial board now and start paddling, or prepare to get washed up.

“Using IMD Cloud has dramatically improved our distribution processes. Auto QC and 24/7 deliveries saves the team enormous amounts of time and effort every week.”
Fiona Battersby, Head of TV Admin, Ogilvy

QC the difference

One obvious way forward-thinking agencies are preparing for an addressable future is by embracing automated services wherever possible, including automated technical QC. Every TV ad has to be quality checked for technical errors before it is distributed. Broadcasters will then run their own QC, but online destinations don’t tend to, so this early QC process helps the process run smoothly, by ensuring files aren’t rejected by broadcasters, and that no poor quality videos make it online.

Traditionally, this preliminary QC was done by a broadcast engineer, who watched every ad and flagged any issues. The problem is, even the best broadcast engineer only has one pair of eyes, and even the most dedicated ones have to go home at some point. Manual QC just isn’t a viable option for any brand that wants to create hundreds of super targeted ads, or anyone who is burning the midnight oil to hit a killer deadline.

There is an alternative. Group IMD and Honeycomb have established an automated QC system which can check ads in seconds. Should any issues be detected, it lets the uploader know straight away – so they can adjust the files and re-upload. Accurately identifying over 95% of content rejections, auto QC is more reliable than a human and – because labour laws don’t yet require it to take a break – it can approve tens of thousands of files around the clock.

For advertisers, this is a gamechanger. For those desperate to get a single ad approved and delivered after 5pm so they can go home and put the kids to bed, or for those ready to distribute complex addressable campaigns across the globe, automated QC offers a quick, straightforward and affordable means to do so.

And by embracing automation early, these agencies are able to seize exciting opportunities as soon as they arise.

The future is here. What’s holding you back?


At Group IMD and Honeycomb, we’re dedicated to building technology to optimise creativity – now and in the future. We built our advanced auto QC to ensure quality, simplify your workflow and ensure effortless deliveries 24/7. And now, our auto QC is even faster. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out our new and improved system to all our clients.

To find out more about auto QC and how we can help you be ready for the future of advertising, get in touch.