Cooperation between the two Prague companies began in late 2015 and resulted in the launch of the first programmatically purchased HbbTV ads in Europe. The first campaign consisted of banner ads run on the music channel Óčko. “Even then, we all felt it was a big thing and we saw huge opportunity for further development,” says Martin Čelikovský, CEO of R2B2.
This close cooperation continued in 2016 as halfway through the year they successfully ran the first Push 2 Play video ads (where the video plays at the push of the red button). The latest addition was the video ad format known as Switchroll, where the video automatically plays when the channel is switched.
Hybrid and R2B2 operate a full-fledged chain linking the sponsors of programmatic campaigns with television screens. This solution enables the sale of more than 30 million advertising messages per month via RTB (real time bidding). At present, it’s used by Prima Group and Óčko Group, and it’s now being connected with Barrandov Group and Šlágr TV. “Connecting television screens to the Internet has opened up new territory with its own unique audience that we can effectively address. And that is, understandably, excellent news for the entire advertising industry,” says Lukáš Hnilička, CEO of Hybrid.
In the General Partnership Agreement that was made on 1 December 2016, the companies confirmed their confidence in the power and bright future of programmatic on HbbTV. They intend to work together exclusively, developing new features and tools for both platforms. “This year we’ve learned a lot, but we always see more and more opportunities for the integration of programmatic buying with the television screen,” says Kamil Foltin, CTO of R2B2. “We’re confident that the direction and logic we’ve chosen are right and that we can become successful globally. Next year we would like to make this solution available on foreign markets. Some negotiations have already begun,” concludes Jirka Voříšek, CMO of Hybrid.