Media Insights Q&A with Michael Finn – Brightline - Charlene Weisler

By Media Insights Archives
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Michael Finn, President Brightline, has extensive ad sales experience across platforms – from Cable to Satellite to iTV. Along the way he developed an expertise in set top box data and its value in the sales process. In this fascinating interview, Michael talks about iTV, addressable advertising and the use of data to make informed advertising decisions. Michael also demonstrates the Brightline platform.

The five videos of the complete interview are as follows:

Subject Length (in minutes)

Background (5:40)

iTV, Addressable (8:47)

Brightline (6:03)

System Demo (6:47)

Predictions (5:36)

The videos can be viewed at

Click here to view the videos

Below is a short excerpt of the interview:

CW: iTV. What is your definition and how is it rolling out into the market right now?

MF: iTV is not an easy topic to define. We hear people talking about iTV and advanced TV. We think about it here at Brightline as utilizing digital systems to be able to navigate with your remote control into experiences other than just the linear feed that you are watching. Brightline has been building campaigns that, while they start with the 30 second traditional commercial, we then are able to transport the viewer into other areas where they can interact with big branded experiences. These experiences allow for three to ten minutes worth of engagement time where viewers can get very deep inside a branded experience. That is what we have been doing across Satellite, Cable and Telcos. Over the past year and a half we have started to bring those experiences into the gaming platforms as well as. They have become more of a video hub inside a lot of homes with Xbox and Playstation. We have started to find very impactful ways to translate brand messaging into those environments where we can generate millions of views a week of these experiences.

CW: So addressable advertising is a component of iTV…?

MF: Interesting. I spent a lot of my time over the last couple of years working on addressable at Dish. It was a huge priority for us. At Brightline, addressable does roll out on some of the platforms. We build our advertiser commercials in such a way that it will work with addressability and has the potential to get a more targeted message to that targeted home. And while we see 2 to 3% click rates on our commercials now, we know that it will go up substantially once these messages find their way into more targeted homes based on some sort of addressable targeting. There are pieces of what we build that currently have addressability built in. For some of our advertisers, we build locators inside so when a viewer enters into one of these experiences that we build for, let's say, a retailer or for an auto, the set top box will automatically recognize "where", (because we are location based) and can then bring up a message that is unique to that viewers home. So it can be the nearest dealership or it can be the nearest supermarket where that product is available. And we can even send a coupon. So there are addressable pieces that we can build into these applications.

CW: What about privacy? How do you handle privacy issues?

MF: Privacy issues are handled at the operators themselves. Cable has its privacy policies, Satellites have their privacy policies, Telcos have theirs too and the gaming platforms do too. So we are just following those policies that those platforms have put out there. They share data with us that is consistent with whatever their policy is. We abide by that when we collect the data for our advertisers.

Interview conducted by Charlene Weisler, Weisler Media LLC. She can be reached through her research blog or at . Twitter:

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