Last weekend, Disney’s ESPN debuted it’s first programmatically sold advertisement during an overnight edition of “SportsCenter”. If you’re wondering what that actually means, MediaPost’s Tyler Loechner attempts to explain :
The ad took its own 30-second block — almost like a Hulu ad block — and was shown from within the “SportsCenter” set. Also unlike traditional TV ads, the Turbo Tax ad was never given the full screen.
Along the bottom of the screen, the ESPN news ticker can be seen running throughout the spot, and a 30 second countdown clock is displayed directly above the ad. These decisions allowed ESPN to keep its “SportsCenter” themed wall in the background and display the ESPN and “SportsCenter” logos on screen — as well as the ticker — while the ad played.
Thanks to some photoshopping, we can tell you that the ad took up about 31% of the TV screen’s pixels. That — coupled with the fact the ad was shown at 1 a.m. — clearly exhibits that ESPN was simply testing the waters; the network was treating its programmatic ad much differently than it would a “standard” ad, not to mention a “premium” ad.
A non-full-screen TV ad played from within the studio at 1 a.m. during a non-conventional commercial break is a premium TV broadcaster’s equivalent to “remnant” display inventory.