Here’s a Fall 2018 Playbook for TV Marketers

Oath’s Matt Young has some advice for TV marketers

By Matt Young, VP and Industry Lead, Entertainment, Oath

When’s the last time you felt caught up on the season’s hit TV shows? Last summer? Ten years ago? In an era of competing and diverse content providers, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the vast choices available. In fact, last year, the number of TV shows released in the U.S. hit a new high, up to 487 compared to 455 in 2016.

This swell in TV programming combined with the massive growth of over-the-top (OTT) and trend of cord-cutting– which, according to eMarketer, will jump 32 Percent this year–begs the question: what does this mean for TV marketers and how can they keep up?

They adapt. Innovations in Advanced TV and mobile advertising have opened doors for advertisers to go beyond the large-scale TV ad buys and focus more on targeted advertising that makes an impact. As our watch lists continue to grow and more and more consumers cut the cord, we need a new playbook for TV marketers looking to cut through the entertainment clutter and capture consumer attention. Here are four ways to navigate the new landscape of TV.

Lean into Advanced TV

In today’s fragmented landscape, where viewers turn to alternative methods for traditional TV content, advertisers are finding it increasingly difficult to reach audiences in one place. There are too many ways to reach consumers and at too many times throughout the day. Advanced TV ditches the one-size-fits-all approach of getting in front of broad audiences to help marketers connect with consumers at the right place and the right time through addressability and interactive ads.

Recent innovations in addressable TV are putting advertisers in the driver’s seat with more sophisticated models for targeting. Leveraging first-and-third-party data, marketers now have the ability to show different ads to different households during the same TV program, and it works! A study from Forrester reported a 19 percent increase in overall brand efficiency, 39 percent increase in overall brand awareness and 67 percent ad recall in addressable TV ads versus traditional TV ads.

For a more engaging experience, consider leveraging interactive TV ads, such as overlays with clickable video, or ACR-powered ads on connected TVs that drive engaged viewers to a website or send promotions to viewers’ smartphones. Interactive ads offer a cross-device experience that connects the dots between TV and mobile.

Another benefit to advanced TV? The medium allows marketers to close the loop on reporting. Advanced TV allows precise measurement after a campaign airs, so that brands can measure their ROI with precision.

Don’t Ignore OTT

Speaking of the changing living-room and viewer consumption habits, OTT advertising shouldn’t be forgotten. Advertising on these platforms, like Xbox, offers marketers a unique opportunity to connect with engaged viewers. And, results are not only measured by the number of viewers reached, but also on how audiences are engaging with the ad.

What can marketers do? Take advantage of the personalization available with OTT advertising and connect with viewers in a compelling and customized way. Whether it’s transactional video on demand (TVOD), subscription video on demand (SVOD) or ad-supported video on demand (AVOD), consumers continue to spend time with OTT video services. According to a recent Oath study on video consumption, 51 percent of video viewers use an OTT video streaming service to watch TV shows or movies. Earlier this summer PwC released its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook for 2018-2022, which forecasts that OTT will show an average of 10 percent growth for the next five years.

Diversify your video advertising spend

The need to diversify video advertising spend has never been more apparent. According to Forrester’s recent Video Advertising Forecast, TV Everywhere is expected to grow from 89 million users in 2018 to 111 million in 2023, and virtual multichannel video programming distributor users will grow from 24.2 million this year to 44.3 million in 2023.

Close to a quarter of video viewers now use an app to watch TV shows or movies from a cable, satellite, telco TV service or TV network with higher levels among Millennials (33 percent) and Gen Z (31 percent) according to the same video consumption study from Oath. What’s more, when it comes to watching free, ad-supported content, consumers are in — particularly GenZers, who are more open to learning about new products that are relevant.

This presents a massive opportunity for marketers to put their money where consumer eyeballs are. The key is ensuring your strategy integrates both TV and digital video so you have a consistent message across every touchpoint.

Invest in mobile video to capitalize on OTT and all-access apps

U.S. consumers spend an average of five hours a day on mobile, and it shows no signs of slowing down. From social media to news, consumers are turning to their phones to stay connected — and that also means making their phones a second screen for TV shows and video content. With the rise of OTT and all-access apps, the opportunity for mobile video advertising continues to grow. But to effectively engage consumers via mobile video, creating a personalized experience that works seamlessly is critical.

Pre-roll video and native video ads are some of the most effective video formats on mobile because they provide an uninterrupted video viewing experience. And research shows that native video ads between 15-22 seconds in length on mobile are significantly more engaging than desktop ads. This is great news for advertisers; 15-22 seconds gives marketers more opportunity to engage consumers in a personalized and meaningful way. Finally, if you’re looking to reach specific audience segments, consider going programmatic. Combining the data and targeting of programmatic advertising with the creativity of native video ensures you’re reaching viewers on smartphones with meaningful content that is tailored to their interests.

As we move further away from primetime and closer to TV everywhere, the video advertising landscape is ripe for innovation. Marketers need a new playbook that incorporates these strategies to ensure they’re making the most out of their TV and video ad spend.

About the author:

Young has been growing new, scalable and profitable businesses in the technology and media space for the last 15 years. Currently, as the VP, industry lead for Entertainment, Media and Gaming at Oath, he oversees industry advertising revenue for all of Oath’s content and ad tech products. Prior to Oath, Young led the programmatic initiatives for the field sales team at Yahoo! (acquired by Verizon for $4.48B in 2017) and held various leadership positions in mobile and programmatic at BrightRoll (acquired by Yahoo! for $640M in 2014). Early in his career he worked on the content and production side of media, starting as a journalist in South America, and then running his own entertainment company in Los Angeles.