Rewarding the Best in Advanced TV and Audience Buying. The ABBI Awards.

What makes an Advanced TV company great? According to Gabe Greenberg, CEO and Founder, GABBCON, it might be winning an ABBI Award. “The ABBI Awards (Audience Based Buying Innovation) awards are presented to companies who are leading innovation and success in advanced TV audience based buying,” noted Greenberg. 

This year his organization received over 100 entries and winners are selected by judges – not affiliated with GABBCON management.  This year the judges hailed from such companies as Nestle, L’Oréal, Hershey’s, Columbia Sportswear and agency leaders from OMD, Ocean Media, RPA and Assembly.

“We think the awards are quite important because there are no other awards series that recognize the very best in advanced TV and audience buying,” he stated and then added, “At a time when audience based buying is critical in the TV and Video market, we think it is critical to recognize and award those who are leading the market with success and innovation.”

I sat down with Greenberg and asked him the following questions:

Weisler: What makes a company the best in advanced TV and audience buying?

Greenberg: The judging for all our awards was done by brand and agency leaders so I cannot speak for them and what they were looking for. For GABBCON this is also a hard question to answer because it will vary from local to national from broadcaster to adtech provider. In my mind, what separates the wheat from the chaff is the sophistication of the data they apply, the level of automation they deliver and the inventory quality they offer – but that is my opinion, not that of the judges.  

Weisler: Have the criteria for the best changed over the past 2 years?

Greenberg: Yes, they certainly have. During last year’s awards, we judged on a combination of crowd sourced industry voting with GABBCON voting. This year 100% of all voting was done by executives from brands like Hershey’s, Nestlé, RPA and OMD with a total of 12 judges.

Weisler: Where do you see advanced advertising right now in the marketplace?     

Greenberg: Advanced advertising is at a very exciting tipping point where more and more companies are taking advantage of advanced data, technology and AI. TV itself is probably the best it has ever been and with the complement of Advanced advertising may finally begin to see dollars move back from digital to TV. This is an important area of focus for GABBCON events and clearly one hundreds of executives from big brands and agencies are all trying to leverage and figure out. As the ANA and others put digital under the microscope, advanced advertising lends a nice alternative in a medium that has proven to deliver and is fraud free and brand safe. Our consulting practice is seeing tremendous growth from brands, broadcasters, station groups and agencies who are trying to ride the wave of success and change.

Weisler: Where do you see it in 5 years?

Greenberg: In 5 years, I think we will no longer be calling it advanced. We will just be talking about TV and Video.

Weisler: How can advanced TV buying improve and who needs to be the change agent?

Greenberg: Just like brands and agencies lead the wave to digital, they need to lead again. Fortunately, many are. The move to advanced advertising has not been entirely because of its value and quality. Initially much of the interest and change was driven by necessity because of walled gardens who were improperly scoring their own homework, digital properties delivering non-human traffic and fraud or large players publishers delivering non-brand safe impressions.
The market is improving every day and there are any number of leaders paving the way with the intent to harmonize data and technology. We still have a lot of work to do together. However, some examples of progress, although early, are OpenAP, new addressable players like Spectrum Reach or expanded efforts from Comcast NBCUniversal and live solutions that allow for DAI from Hulu and Sony. Every month we have more scale and better solutions. It is a very exciting time for TV and Video.

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