The Drum | Search Behavior Meets TV Targeting In Sky’s Latest Tool For Advertisers

Sky TV viewers can now be targeted based on their search behavior as part of a newly developed tool from its ad sales house.

Sky’s advertising sales arm Sky Media has created a tool that allows brands to use search behavior data to target TV viewers – a first for a UK major broadcaster.

Search Behaviour, as Sky has called its new tech, uses third-party search data based on the number of times an internet user has searched for something and their intent to buy. It then matches that with first-party Sky audience data.

For launch, Sky has made available seven search behavior categories that brands can buy the audiences for. These include home & garden, travel, news, job & education, arts & entertainment, games, and pets & animals.

The tool takes the top 30% of people who have searched for that topic and matches that 30% with Sky’s audience base, which includes Sky, Virgin and Now (formally Now TV).

As an example, a holiday or insurance company can now target someone who is actively searching for holidays or flights or even go as far as targeting someone who is mulling over booking a beach holiday or a ski holiday.

The categories are intended to complement Sky Media’s existing addressable targeting, for example, Sky already offers advertisers FMCG through its retail media deals with Dunnhumby and Nectar.

Sky Media’s director of TV advertising products and innovation, Dan Cohen, revealed to The Drum that these seven categories are just the start, and his team will be adding more post-launch guided by testing. Eventually, advertisers will also be able to request bespoke search categories, he says.

“What we wanted to do was to be able to source that kind of trend data in the market to understand what people are actually doing and enable advertisers, through TV, to be able to directly reach them,” Cohen says. “And that way the impact of a campaign would be far more, far more impressive and you get much more return on the money that you’re putting in.”

The tool is leveraged through Sky’s addressable platform Sky AdSmart and while Capitfy collects the third-party search data.

“The power of search information, which we know is really great, along with the brand equity you get from TV. Bringing that together is just a powerful and unique proposition in the market,” Cohen says. “It adds to that improved targeting capability that we’re always trying to bring to advertisers.”


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