AMC Guarantees Demo Hits

Apr 6, 2008  •  Post A Comment

AMC, which has added high-profile series to its lineup of classic movies, is telling marketers that they now can use the same kind of behavior targeting they use on the Web when advertising on television.
The upfront ad market pitch is based on research into the behavior of AMC’s movie viewers that the network conducted with the Nielsen Co. And the network is willing to guarantee advertisers that it hits both its traditional demographic targets as well as these additional behavioral ones.
The force behind the idea is AMC Executive VP and General Manager Charlie Collier. In his previous job as head of ad sales at Court TV, Mr. Collier was an early proponent of engagement, guaranteeing that advertisers would not only get eyeballs, but viewers who were paying attention to commercials.
“We think we’ve found a better way to combine what has historically been the domain of media planners—behavioral and lifestyle targeting—with what media buyers have refined over the years—effective media buying against demographic targets,” Mr. Collier said.
Starcom was the first agency to take Mr. Collier up on his engagement guarantee at Court TV. And the agency is interested in his new research-based pitch.
“It’s a network that at least is stepping forward, willing to guarantee on additional metrics,” said Christine Olson, VP/cable activation director, Starcom. “I think it’s something we’re going to look at this year, because accountability is something we embrace.”
If an advertiser buys movies, “There is a way to customize the movies based on research they’ve done with Nielsen to help determine which movies resonate with that client’s specific target, so you can have a stronger schedule that’s more impactful,” she said.
AMC worked with Nielsen to create its Audience Identity Metric, based on a sample of 5,000 viewers, to see which titles are watched by people thinking about buying cars or active in doing their own financial planning.
Media buyers can say what types of consumers they’re seeking and AMC can put spots in appropriate movies.
For example, an obvious choice for men interested in financial services is “Wall Street,” Mr. Collier said. But research also reveals some more subtle and surprising choices, including a predilection for “Any Given Sunday,” “Apollo 13” and “Caddyshack.”
“This metric was developed to provide more value to advertisers as they target specific audiences beyond age and gender demographics,” said Holly Leff Pressman, executive VP and general manager of Nielsen Entertainment. “It sets AMC apart, shedding valuable insights into what types of viewers are watching the network.”
AMC has a big gap between its live program ratings and the new commercial ratings being used to buy media now, indicating viewers tend to change channels during breaks. AMC has done studies showing viewers who do stay are likely to trust, recommend and purchase products advertised on the channel.
In the first quarter, AMC was ranked 15th among ad-supported cable networks in total viewers during prime time, up 6% from a year ago.


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