Viacom Launches ‘Surround Sound' Ad System Based on Adobe Technology

Viacom delivers a new advertising platform known as "Surround Sound" based on technology from the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite.

SALT LAKE CITY €” Movie and TV powerhouse Viacom announced the launch of "Surround Sound," a new sales capability enabling advertisers to reach specific audiences with pinpoint accuracy on every digital platform of the company's media networks.

Viacom announced Surround Sound at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit here. Viacom€™s networks include MTV, Nickelodeon and COMEDY CENTRAL and more. The company€™s "Surround Sound" offers advertisers highly targeted, scaled media buys across nearly 100 million homes on-air, and more than 80 million unique visitors online, as well as mobile and email users the company reaches nationwide, Josh Cogswell, Viacom€™s senior vice president of digital products, told eWEEK.

The Viacom solution uses Adobe€™s AudienceManager technology, Cogswell said.

"Our brands excel at delivering highly targeted demos for advertisers, but Surround Sound takes that ability a big step further, by empowering us to connect clients with specific audiences wherever they are across our digital portfolio," Jeff Lucas, head of sales, music and entertainment for Viacom Media Networks, said in a statement.

"With Surround Sound, we're offering advertisers the sustainable, scalable ability to reach very specific consumers across every screen we program, from television to online video, premium display, mobile and even email advertising inventory," Jim Perry, head of sales, Nickelodeon Group for Viacom Media Networks, said in a statement.

"With Adobe AudienceManager, Viacom is getting a single view of all of its data assets, helping the company unlock the value of that data with an unprecedented cross-platform advertising solution," Chris Robison, senior director of advertising solutions in the Digital Marketing Business at Adobe, said in a statement. "Viacom can now deliver extremely relevant audience segments to its advertisers across its media networks. Time, geography and content constraints become far less relevant and the audience itself becomes the focus in a way never before possible."

Offered by Viacom Media Networks client-centric, cross-platform sales force, Surround Sound utilizes Adobe AudienceManager [formerly Demdex], a best-in-breed data management platform, to help identify and reach key audience segments. Surround Sound leverages highly proprietary, anonymous first-party data from Viacom as well as anonymous data from trusted industry partners and providers around demographics, behavior, geography and purchase propensities, Cogswell said. The collection and use of anonymous data is done in compliance with Viacom's privacy policies, he added.

Cogswell said despite already having an existing business relationship with Adobe, Viacom went through an RFP process to look at the data management platforms out there.

He said Adobe stood out for two reasons. €œOne reason is Adobe is a platform company and is not attempting to start a new revenue stream around data,€ Cogswell told eWEEK. He also said that having been a customer of Adobe€™s Omniture analytics services since 2004 meant Viacom was already familiar with the platform and knew what needed to be done to advance its capabilities.

But, mostly, the move to create and capitalize on Surround Sound and the opportunity it represents came because €œwe found ourselves leaving money on the table,€ Cogswell said.

Viacom conducted beta testing on Surround Sound and received positive feedback, Cogswell said. €œSince then, the phone has been ringing,€ he said.

Adobe AudienceManager is a Digital Management Suite (DMS) product that consolidates, activates and optimizes digitally addressable data from all sources. Adobe AudienceManager manages advertising data to action and forms multisource visitor profiles into complex multi-partner advertising distribution opportunities. AudienceManager is embraced by some of the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries, Adobe said. Its enterprise-level technology is a preferred alternative to homegrown systems that are often expensive to build, operate and maintain, the company also said. Adobe AudienceManager provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance necessary to power very large digital advertising programs, yielding digital advertising relevance to Digital Marketing Suite customers, Adobe officials added.

Viacom is home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms in more than 160 countries and territories. With over 2,500 interactive media properties reaching a global audience of nearly 700 million, Viacom's leading brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, Spike TV and Tr3s. Paramount Pictures, America's oldest film studio and creator of many of the most beloved motion pictures, continues today as a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Viacom operates a large portfolio of branded digital media experiences, including many popular properties for entertainment, community and casual online gaming.