ITV launches AI advertising tool, Automated Contextual Targeting

UK pubcaster, ITV, has launched the Automated Contextual Targeting (ACT) tool for advertisers, providing insights into moods, objects and moments in programmes they can use to fine-tune campaigns.

Developed by ITV’s AdLabs advertising division, ACT launched this week in partnership with UK’s health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain Boots and supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

ACT uses AI technology to scan through every show across ITVX, categorising every scene in them by mood, object or moment.

The technology has the ability to recognise facial expressions and words spoken within shows. According to ITV, this has allowed them to draw up the following three key themes for the pilot – Food, Drink And Mealtimes, Moments of Joy and Beauty And Cosmetics.

The broadcaster said where an advertiser might typically buy Food as a Contextual theme and target shows like Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook, the ACT algorithm surpasses this by giving them the ability to target moods, objects and moments. This ensure advertisers can then target Food, Drink and Mealtimes moments when they include ACT within their package.

Bought via PHD, Sainsbury’s will be targeting Food, Drink & Mealtimes as an ACT buy for their new Christmas campaign. The campaign features ACT ads showcasing hero products from their festive food offering.

While, the ACT bought via MediaCom, will see Boots targeting Moments of Joy and Beauty And Cosmetics themes for their new Christmas campaign which this year focuses on ‘Joy for all’.

“More than ever, brands want to buy adjacency to the biggest and most talked shows on TV, but do so with relevance. Following months of development and testing under AdLabs, our ACT pilot utilises cutting-edge tech to help brands fine tune the contextual relevance of their ITV addressable campaigns,” said Jayesh Rajdev, controller of advanced advertising for ITV.

“Participating in Test & Learn initiatives with AdLabs has been hugely valuable, not just for our learning but for our brand results. Aligning with contextual moments is hugely important in our marketing activity, but particularly at Christmas, as aligning with those moments of joy is integral to our strategy,” said Pete Markey, CMO at Boots.

The AI tool will soon be available via Planet V to pre-agreed advertiser partners. ITV AdLabs will be adding further buyable categories to their ACT offering, alongside a host of further innovations for advertisers to trial across addressable products, partnerships & insight before the end of the year.

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