Issues with local Cable TV advertising

James Altemus
Is there an independent mechanism to confirm whether local Cable ads are actually running? We get our bills, and the breakdown of where and when our ads ran, but I'm suspicious that one of the cable systems we advertising on (and my provider) is having a technical issue that is preventing the local avails from airing.
Zach Janes
I know there are a few companies that monitor broadcast tv buys but it is a pretty high cost to use them and they typically only monitor national and regional advertising buys. Local buys are something they don't provide much, if any, reports for. I've yet to come across anyone who is successfully monitoring local cable or radio buys on advertisers' behalf. Sounds like the cable provider is giving you the logs upon campaign completion. Have you compared them against how many spots were ordered to see if there's a large discrepancy? There's a couple scenarios that may keep the spots from running but your cable rep and/or agency should be sharing the info with you regularly if they aren't. Your spots may be getting bumped because your cost per spot is too low and someone is willing to pay more. This happens pretty frequently around things like holidays, major sporting events, and elections. Your spots may be running during non-prime hours (late evening, early morning, midday). There may be a technical issue with your spot but you'd most likely be alerted of this at the beginning of a campaign by the cable companies engineering department. If you're watching for your spots and just not seeing them, are you sure you're in the zone that's being targeted? Your spots may be running in one cable zone but your watching from a different one. Another thought could be, if your spots are being sent to a regional hub for the cable provider did they accidentally traffic them to run in the wrong market? I think that's pretty unlikely though. In any case, cable can be an extremely frustrating medium because the audiences are very fragmented.
Dustin Lyons
James, I don't have a solution for you regarding tracking your cable ads, but My suggestion would be to maybe shift some of your advertising efforts to YouTube. You can get a huge bang for your buck there, and everything is very trackable.
James Altemus
I think there is a technical problem with the cable provider, because on the channel we are advertising on, local ads haven't been running. It isn't just us; there have been no local avails. You can tell where they should be, but they're not there. Most advertisers probably don't pay attention, or trust the audited report they receive with their monthly statement. Something is screwed up and no one is paying attention apparently except for me.
Jason Stum
We do a lot of business with Comcast Spotlight, and they provide us with our spot listings prior to their air date. This at least gives us an opportunity to spot check a few just to make sure they ran when they're supposed to. Also I feel our rep has been quite transparent with us during our partnership. Regarding advertising on cable in general, it has it's pros and cons. On one hand I love the ability to target specific zones/areas located around my dealerships. On the other hand, I hate looking at the spot listings to see my commercials are running on the Big 10 Network at 5:15am during the replay of the Rutgers v. Nebraska Women's Basketball Game from three nights ago. Probably not a soul tuned in to watch that.
Carl Maeda
You could try using special landing page URLs on only those ads. Any traffic coming to those pages would be from those ads. You can also put a call tracking number on those ads, If you get any calls or landing page visits, you'll know its' from those specific ads. It will at least let you know if its' working.

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