A lot of broadcast media monitoring activity is focused on search and alerts from news coverage – knowing who says what about whom on TV or radio in the context of journalism.  But what about monitoring and responding to advertising?  Cable and broadcast television advertising is hard to monitor in real-time – or is it?

Turns out that many advertisers include full text of their commercials in the closed captioning.  According to the Association of National Advertisers, “The ANA Production Management Committee recommends that all television commercials be closed captioned. Closed captioning of commercials makes good business sense because it maximizes the impact of an advertising message and does so at minimal cost.”  Closed captioning also benefits users of broadcast media monitoring services like TVEyes Media Monitoring Suite.

Political campaigns and political action committees are very likely to include closed captioning, and this is a great way for competitive intelligence staff to keep on top of the latest ads from political rivals.  In many cases, these ads are required to carry closed captioning (though since most presidential campaigns do not seek monies from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, a mandate that campaigns funded by PECF caption ads does not apply).

An interesting post from 2010 by Sean Zdenek pointed out the relative dearth of closed captioned commercials in 2010; in his monitoring of 84 commericals one evening (October 16, 2010), only 33 percent were closed captioned.  The NFL and CBS made serious headway on the issue for the 2010 Superbowl, during which 75 percent of ads aired carried captions.  As more advertisers adopt closed captions, it benefits those who would track their advertising.

So can you track SuperPAC and other campaign ads by searching closed captions?  Turns out you can, when they elect to include the closed caption text with their ads.  Setting an alert for the names of campaign committees and SuperPACs within TVEyes MMS will keep you up to the minute on these commercials.

If you are responsible for monitoring the TV commercials of most leading brands, you also can track their placements using TVEyes.

Want a free trial of the leading real-time broadcast media monitoring service?  Please email sales@tveyes.com us or call 203-254-3600 x100.

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