MTV makes ad change with Visible


NEW YORK -- Viacom's MTV Networks is partnering with advertising technology company Visible Worlds to bring ads to its channels that can be customized and changed in real-time, the companies said Monday.

This new agreement will bring the technology to MTV's channels, including MTV, VH1, Spike TV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, as well as its online properties. A network spokesman said that the technology would be implemented in a couple months and that they would still be open to traditional advertising campaigns.

Ads that are equipped with Visible Worlds technology are able to be changed up to seven seconds before they are aired, based on a company's inventory level, the demographics that the program targets, time of day or any other condition.

Tara Walpert, president of Visible Worlds, used an example of an airline company switching their commercial message because a certain route has been sold out. The company can also tailor commercials to live events or the scripts of a show.

"It takes all of the flexibility and customization and targeting that is attracting advertisers to online and bringing it to television," said Walpert, who said her company represents a "fundamental shift" in TV advertising.

"Our goal is to fundamentally change the way our viewers experience advertising by giving them an innovative experience," said Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. "Our partnership with Visible World gives us the leading edge."

In its implementation, Visible World acts as a middleman between the advertising agencies and the networks. They are given relevant content for the commercials and then turn it into what is called an "intellispot," which the network can then tailor to any number of conditions.

Walpert said there has been a "steady drumbeat of momentum" for the company and that all the major cable operators currently use Visible World technology. News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting uses it on its network and Turner Broadcasting is testing it out at the local level at Atlanta's WTBS station, but MTV is the first network of channels to fully embrace it, she said.

"MTV has been at the cutting edge," said Walpert. "They've seen what the future is going to look like and they jumped on it aggressively."