Using Online and Direct Mail Targeting Practices on TV
American electronics giant RCA–owned W2XBS was 1 of 10 stations issued a commercial television license by the FCC on May 2, 1941. Two months later, on July 1, 1941, it became the first television station to begin commercial broadcasting under the new call letters WNBT. Though these call letters have changed a few times over the years, they are known today as New York City’s familiar WNBC.1
“America runs on Bulova time” was the tagline heard by fans who tuned into a Dodgers versus Phillies baseball game over 70 years ago. The famous watchmaker paid only nine dollars to run its brand’s television commercial to a broadcast audience. Their 10-second TV spot simply showed a clock superimposed over a map of the United States.2
For decades, brands could pretty much guarantee that every viewer would see the exact same TV spot during each commercial break when they bought broadcast media in a local market or on a national network. While television has the benefit over other mediums of enabling advertisers to reach mass audiences with a consistent message, this form of advertising also comes with its share of inherent waste.
The advent of online advertising, where targeting and optimization are fundamentally built into the medium, has put pressure on the television industry to become more than just a mass medium and to instead incorporate the targeting and real-time ad serving capabilities that the ...