The top four U.S. broadcast networks — Viacom Inc.-owned CBS, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, General Electric Co.-owned NBC and News Corp.’s Fox — are about to use a new 12-character code for tracking all advertising.
Ad-ID (Advertising Digital Identification) assigns a unique system-generated identification code to any advertising asset from television, online, print or radio. As over 100 major advertisers and trade groups have endorsed the system, the move of the broadcasters paves the way for making it a standard.
In the immediate term, Ad-ID will cut out costly code replications that have led to the wrong commercials being aired.
It’s above all a god sent system for advertisers who invest millions of dollars into directly targeting consumers, as the system can accommodate multiple versions of ads.
For example, a diaper manufacturer could select households with babies while a dental adhesive maker would pinpoint their denture-wearing neighbors, based on information that consumers provided.
Advertisers would see more accurately how their spending affected sales, especially as retailers adopt RFID.
In about five years, a nightmarish-Big Brotherish combination of Ad-ID and RFID could allow advertisers to measure “whether we delivered the commercial to you, and, as I am monitoring your pantry, whether you bought the product too,” said Peter Sealey, from UC Berkeley.