Cadent Is Bringing ‘Issue Advocacy’ Segments To TV

With the midterm elections coming this November, cable distributors are starting to think more deeply about enhancing their audience targeting capabilities.

On Thursday, advanced TV platform Cadent announced a partnership with Tunnl, a data provider that gathers audience data from a combination of national consumer and voter files and through a quarterly survey of 5,000 consumers.

Cadent was particularly interested in what’s known as issue advocacy segments, which are different from general political ad segments, said Tony Yi, EVP of business development at Cadent.

Issue advocacy advertising is related to political advertising, but it’s more nuanced.

Rather than targeting based on political affiliation (Democrat vs. Republican, for example), issue advocacy campaigns aim to reach people based on the “hot button” issues that voters are concerned with, such as climate change or reproductive rights.

The idea is to take a more granular look at what might lead certain people to vote a certain way in order to determine how to message them, Yi said.

Using these segments, Cadent’s advertisers will be able to target based on interests such as  “public affairs” or “corporate advocacy.”

Cadent clients can overlay their own first- or third-party data onto Tunnl’s audience segments to determine an overlap and build a media plan that best indexes against those audiences regardless of where people are watching, whether it be addressable linear or connected TV (CTV).

For reference, Cadent started offering over-the-top (OTT) and CTV delivery in 2020.

“[This partnership] isn’t really solving for a problem – it’s an opportunity to reach an audience that’s highly valuable,” Yi said. “Audiences [based] around the genre of advocacy are fairly unique segments that very few other data companies have.”

Because issue advocacy data goes deeper than just Republican or Democrat when it comes to understanding a viewer’s preferences and behaviors, it can be “incredibly powerful” for brands, Yi added.

Although Tunnl is joining Cadent’s data marketplace as a data provider, Tunnl data won’t be integrated directly within Cadent’s ID graph. Regardless, Tunnl data segments can still help the two tools work better in tandem for advertisers.

Cadent’s ID graph is a map of available identifiers, including IP addresses, email addresses and IDFAs, matched against physical households. So while Tunnl data isn’t being input into the ID graph, “our graph [can] actively define Tunnl segments across [channels], and we’ll still use our graph to home in on inventory [against] a target audience,” Yi said.

When it comes to achieving business goals across linear and connected channels, converged TV buying can’t be accomplished without a really strong viewer graph, he added.

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