Daimler AG launched a new Smart Car campaign this week. MediaPost covered the details in an article, Smart to Break TV Ad, outlining a media plan with spots on cable networks like Bravo, Logo, Planet Green, Discovery, Sundance, E!, and HGTV. This is a smart media plan considering the eco-friendly, urban, young target audience.

But is it as smart as the car's namesake? Today, there are new sources of smarter TV planning with companies like Simulmedia, TRA, and TiVo. In fact, Simulmedia's tagline reads "Smarter TV Ads Today," and claims "web-like ad targeting" for television buying using Set-Top-Box (STB) data. TRA, a well-established player in the CPG category, now has an automotive practice that combines Experian and television STB databases. TiVo's Audience Research group leverages a panel of 40,000 households to survey and create a viewing profile based on the exact segment a brand is targeting.

For example with respect to a niche auto launch, the TiVo panel would be surveyed about behavior and specific lifestyle questions. This yields a bulls-eye media plan based on 1) short-term buyers; and 2) a TV profile built on lifestyle, interests, and attitudes. I am not sure if Daimler AG leveraged these methods for the current campaign, but for a truly Smart Car, it is worth an education in the latest media tools available.

Greg DePalma is Vice President of Audience Insights at TiVo Inc., where he consults with advertiser, agency, and network clients to increase commercial effectiveness in a DVR world. Greg can be reached at gdepalma@tivo.com.

Read all Greg's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at InteracTiVoty.

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