IRIS.TV contextual targeting enhances Carl’s Jr. CTV ad campaign

IRIS.TV is boasting results for AI-powered contextual targeting, marking success with a CTV ad campaign for PMG’s Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) client Carl’s Jr. using the vendor’s PMP deal library.

IRIS.TV earlier this year launched a contextual CTV PMP (private marketplace), bringing together contextual data, publisher content and ad serving platform partners to offer nearly 100 curated programmatic PMP deal segments that are available in a self-serve environment. The IRIS-enabled PMPs are meant to allow for easier contextual ad targeting and buying on CTV through those video-level contextual segments, which are powered by AI capabilities of several data partners. For a deeper dive into the IRIS.TV contextual CTV deal marketplace read here.  

Contextual ad targeting is one approach to reach viewers at the right time, in this case based on content they’re viewing, in a CTV ad and viewing landscape that faces much fragmentation, a complex supply chain, and unlike digital channels doesn’t have cookies to rely on.

A newly released case study on the Carl’s Jr. campaign shows some proof points for IRIS.TV’s deal library, which delivered incremental sales lifts and in-store visits with better results than other targeting methods employed. Carl’s Jr. counts over 1,000 locations in the U.S. and decided it wanted agency PMG to run CTV ads to target audiences in specific regions, with the primary goals of driving in-store visits and sales.

PMG tested targeting content that matches up with interest of Carl’s Jr. customers, who tend to be younger and male. The campaign used IRIS.TV contextual segments of Hispanics, food, anime, video games, sports and content that included competitors’ logos.  Data partners Captify, GumGum, Kerv, Pixability and Silverpush use respective AI tech for frame-by-frame analysis of CTV content to build the segments through the IRIS.TV deal library.  

Doug Paladino, programmatic director at PMG, said that with users viewing content across hundreds of apps, IRIS.TV solves for CTV fragmentation.

“If we want to target ‘Anime’ content, it’s unrealistic to go to every single app and have them each curate anime content for us,” Paladino said. “IRIS.TV gives us a centralized solution across all apps they are integrated with. It’s a good way to scale our targeting contextually.”

The campaign ran across millions of impressions, using IRIS-enabled CTV inventory from thousands of streaming apps and FAST channels. It also used PMG’s DSP to add 140 U.S. DMAs to make sure the targeted in-market audiences were reached. In addition to IRIS-enabled contextual data, PMG tested standard digital video and CTV targeting tactics, including first-party identity, demographic data, and run-of-network buys.

The key KPI for the case study was store visits, where IRIS-enabled PMPs delivered. The company reported that CTV ads contextually targeted via IRIS.TV resulted in a 35% incremental lift, which was 21% higher than how all other tactics performed as viewers who saw the IRIS-enabled ads converted at a higher rate than all other targeting methods tested.

The restaurant uses short-term real-time measurement that leans on credit card data to glean which household saw the ad and if it transacted at Carl’s Jr.

“IRIS.TV enables us to scale beyond human-centric curation and audience-based targeting alone,” said Michael Treon, head of CTV Strategy at PMG, in a statement. “The scale and segmentation across FAST inventory not only offers incremental delivery against our audience and strategy but affords us the ability to message within key environments and alongside relevant content. It's delivering results that drive direct business outcomes for our clients.”


In addition to store visits, the contextual targeting resulted in a 152% incremental sales lift and delivered a 2.2X return on ad spend (ROAS). And in a TV viewing environment where there’s often more than one person in a household, Carl’s Jr. executives touted the ability to reach the target person via contextual methods.

“With CTV, you may have several people that live in the home. One person might be a 55-year-old male and the other might be that 20-year-old,” said CKE Restaurants CMO Jennifer Tate. “What’s interesting about this approach with IRIS.TV is the ability to make sure we reaching not just the right households, but the right individuals within the household.”

And Carl’s Jr. has been “very encouraged by the performance of our IRIS.TV Partnership,” Tate continued. “This is a unique combination of targeting ability, contextual relevance, high ROI, and scale which will always be important for us."