Purina will finally be able to stop wasting cat money on dog people

Purina will finally be able to stop wasting cat money on dog people.

The pet product giant will soon be able to deliver cat food ads only to households with cats. And dog food ads to only dog houses. And so on.

That capability is the result of an elaborate new partnership between Nielsen Catalina Solutions, which collects data on 90 million US households’ real purchase activities using shopper loyalty cards, and the ad tech company Innovid.

Purina is planning to test this new offering in the coming weeks, said Seth Walters, senior partner at Modi Media, a division of the ad buying giant GroupM which specialises in advanced TV advertising.

The deal centres on ads delivered via connected TV devices, or “OTT ads,” rather than traditional, linear TV ads. Thus, it will initially be limited in scope, since right now when people stream content on their TV using devices like Apple TV or Roku, it’s often via ad-free services like Netflix or HBO Go.

Yet all signs point to ad-supported TV streaming growing, as people watch shows via Hulu or individual network apps like Fox Now or Watch ESPN.

The ad world has long pushed for making TV ad targeting more precise, like digital advertising. This is possible to a degree through various cable companies, which can use their consumer data and cable boxes to zap car ads to households that may be in the market for a new minivan. It’s a sector of the TV ad business commonly referred to as “addressable TV.”

But as more Americans cut the cord and opt for web-delivered television, targeted OTT ads could open up vast opportunities. It’s an area where Facebook and Google have been looking to make inroads.

In this case, Modi can go out and buy ad space from numerous media companies, ranging from ESPN to YouTube, and in real time, Innovid can identify households that frequently buy cat food (or dog food) and send them specific ads.

“It does require aggregation of inventory,” said Walters. “But once we put it together, there is meaningful scale. We see close to 40 million households streaming this [ad-supported] stuff.”

The companies plan to demonstrate this new offering during the Cannes advertising festival next week.

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