After all the Olympics hype and cooking show fanfare at Seven’s upfronts In Sydney last night came an announcement that could prove to be the most telling of all for the network.
Seven West Media has teamed up with Amazon Web Services to bring an AI-powered contextual ad placement service to the network, in what will be an Australian first.
Based on a similar initiative tested by Channel 4 in the UK, artificial intelligence and machine learning is used to analyse and code programming, identifying various objects, environments and even moods that a brand can then choose to align itself with.
Dubbed 7CAP, Seven says it has doubled brand awareness and boosted brand recall and engagement rates.
And despite the continued digitisation of video, the initiative is for broadcast television.
Speaking with B&T, Seven West Media chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette [feature image] said the technological investment into broadcast delivers a clear message to advertisers: broadcast is still the network’s most valuable asset.
“We are in Connected TV, we are in digital, and still broadcast is our biggest engine and our most powerful one at that,” he said.
“[7CAP] is going to make it more sticky for clients to be able to come to broadcast.
“Somebody who tonight who might have thought, ‘I’m going to drop my spin on broadcast’ will now think ‘I can get the dynamics of digital to the scale of broadcast, I’m going to stay with that’.
“The business case in this one was the easiest business case we’ve ever done.”
In terms of a longer-term strategy, Burnette suggested 7CAP is only the beginning.
“In the not too distant future, and I’m talking in the next four or five years, you’ll be able to replace ads in broadcast – that’s the technology that we’re working towards,” Burnette said.
“With that in mind, the start of 7CAP is the start of a multi-year journey into the future of where television is going.”
Amazon Web Services managing director Paul Migliorini also commented on the initiative.
“This partnership is a great example of how we help our customers innovate and experiment quickly to improve the experience for their customers,” he said.
“The breadth and depth of our AI/ML products are the reason why customers like Seven West Media are able to create these innovative platforms with speed and minimal resources.”