Nickelodeon-Unilever-Amagi enter advertising geo-targeting deal

MUMBAI: Advertisers and their agencies always want a bigger bang for their buck. Especially if it is buying expensive air time on TV channels. And one player that has been working at getting them that extra zing is the Bengaluru-based Amagi Media with its geo-targeted advertising DART technology platform.

With almost 15 channels as clients and a reach of about 200 million viewers, the hot shot tech firm today announced that it has done a deal with arguably India's biggest advertiser Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and the Viacom18 kid's channel Nickelodeon.

As part of that deal, an HUL TV commercial will run simultaneously on Nick nationally in different versions , depending on geographical location using Amagi's DART platform. .Lo and behold, HUL will be micro-targeting its communication, something which would surely delight the savvy marketing behemoth. .

Terming this pact as ‘creative-versioning’ Amagi claims that it addresses crucial needs of advertisers as well as broadcasters to make the most of the ROI from the television spot.

Says Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats: “We are pleased to partner with Amagi and Hindustan Unilever on this unique concept of micro-targeting. This initiative further builds on our strategic thrust of sharper segmentation.”

Amagi was rated as the second fastest growing technology company in India by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Amagi Media co-founder Srinivasan K.A explains: “This is the first time worldwide in television advertising that a single spot bought nationally has been used to communicate different brand messages in different regions. Such micro-targeting is going to be the future of television advertising.”

What Amagi does for its other broadcast partners is buy ad slots on their channels and then resells them to regional advertisers. A bar code is added to the ad which is used to identify the placement of ads in specific regions.

Broadcasters have been wary of this kind of advertising as it would mean giving up national inventory for lower-cost local advertising.

This is probably why Nick is letting HUL do its own micro-targeting rather than selling its ad space to Amagi to get regional advertisers on board. However it is a boon to local advertisers who only pay for advertising in a particular region of a national channel at a much lesser cost as well as those who want to mould their ad to suit geography-specific cultural demands.

About Rs 70 crore has been invested in Amagi and it aims to break even somewhere in 2014-2015. Its current yearly revenues are a little less than Rs 50 crore.

It already has a long list of broadcast partners such as TEN sports, Times Now, CNBC Awaaz, IBN7, CNN-IBN, UTV Movies, Maa TV, Zoom, Udaya TV as well as Tata Sky as its DTH partner. Zee News and Zee Business were recently added to its kitty. Its list of advertiser clients includes Chevrolet, Toyota, Fortuna, Skoda apart from local ones such as Kuberan Silks, YLG, Mysore tarpaulins etc.With Unilever being roped in will other top notch advertisers also follow?

That's for later, but the news now is that soon a kid watching Nickelodeon in Kolkata will not see the same ad as a kid watching the channel in Kolhapur. Wonder whether he or she will notice the difference?

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