TV Data Company EDO Launches Solution To Make Linear TV Buys Smarter, More Accountable

TV data science company EDO released an insights platform Thursday designed to help brands, agencies and broadcasters better plan linear TV campaigns and understand how effectively those campaigns drive search engagement.

The platform, called Ad EnGage, contains a module that provides competitive intelligence – where advertisers can see where competitors placed their own TV ads – and a module that shows search engagement activity generated by those placements. Clients can use each module a la carte, though they’re designed to be used together.

For Canvas Worldwide, Ad EnGage supplied additional data points that helped the independent media agency understand what TV shows and programs would be best to host messaging for two of its automotive clients.

For instance, Canvas has a ranking system it uses in video upfronts to determine the programs and networks that work best for a given client’s needs. Ad EnGage helps them improve that ranker.

“We’ve been creating two additional indices to add to that evaluation that have to do with a segment index and a search engine rating, and providing a weight against that,” said Canvas Chief Client Officer Kristi Lind.

The additional insight from Ad EnGage, she said, gave Canvas the confidence to drop certain programs it would ordinarily have bought messaging against.

Canvas also gained more accountability and reporting for its spend – important given the large budgets being poured into linear TV. For example, the agency recently launched a new creative campaign to promote a new car model (which Lind doesn’t have permission to name). Within the first week of the campaign, Canvas could inform the client how well the campaign was performing over its benchmark, and how it was performing in-market against the competition.

In this way Ad EnGage helped fill a reporting and analytics void that’s common with linear TV. While digital channels provide a lot of data, national TV campaigns don’t – which is annoying since it can easily be 50% or more of the media mix.

Going forward, Lind hopes the platform provides more specific performance evaluations for multicultural audiences.

She also hopes EDO gets more traction with media owners.

“Have that be a way they provide evaluations back to us,” Lind said. “[And] we challenge media partners with information we receive: ‘Please don’t put that network or show into our video upfront schedule.’ We have a data point that provides that leverage, [although] in some cases, we have to explain how it all works.”

(According to EDO CEO Kevin Krim, a third of Ad EnGage’s “dozens” of users are networks, and two-thirds are brands and agencies.)

So how does it work?

Ad EnGage uses Google’s API to pull anonymized search data.

Initially, EDO focused on film studio releases – the first “Black Panther” commercial that aired in 2017 created “an absolutely enormous spike in searches,” Krim said – and has since scaled out the search data set to incorporate all TV advertising.

The other data set comes from a database that monitors all of the national TV networks. EDO detects each commercial break, fingerprints the ads and matches them against the 1.2 million ads the company has been exposed to since 2015, Krim said.

EDO also buys data from other sources, such as Nielsen’s Gracenote, which has viewer data from its content recognition tech embedded in smart TVs.

While this strategy all sounds a little similar to TV data companies such as Samba and Alphonso, Krim points out that Samba and Alphonso focus on signals coming from the connected TVs they partner with.

“That’s a sample-based approach,” Krim said, “an alternative to the Nielsen panel.”