Not the new kid anymore, there’s no doubt that connected TV (CTV) is becoming one of the big players in the marketing landscape. In fact, according to the Trade Desk more consumers are available on CTV than on cable right now. Cord-cutting is a reality, but these consumers are still watching content — and CTV is one of the places they are heading.
For our latest SCALEup webinar, we decided to team up with Gijsbert Pols, Lead Product Strategist at Adjust, the mobile measurement company. He spoke with our Director of Digital Activation, Joshua Fulfs, all about the fast rising marketing channel and its myriad possibilities. And there was no time for basics: this was an in-depth dive into the attribution possibilities of a channel bridging the space between online and offline. Here are our top five insights from the webinar. Thanks for starring, Gijsbert!
Advertisers are already taking advantage of the possibilities…
“Look at the figures!,” smiled Gijsbert. He pointed out an eMarketer report on ad revenue from CTV which shows that Hulu will make over three billion in ad spending revenue by 2022, with YouTube at 2.85 billion. The stats don’t lie — the money is already flowing into the channel.
And for good reason: there are multiple advantages to advertising via CTV. In addition to impressive reach — welcome back cord-cutters! — there’s fantastic visual possibilities. “An advert will inevitably look better on a connected TV device than the desktop or mobile,” admits Gijsbert. The situation is also more beneficial for advertisers. Rather than on desktop or mobile, where consumers are often working or doing other things, CTV advertisements come often when users are, in Gijsbert’s words, “sitting on the sofa”. The lack of distraction is a balm for advertisers, who can then connect with the user in a deeper way – with the resulting impact on point of purchase and brand awareness.
…but it’s not all smooth sailing
Don’t forget that CTV refers to the device which users use to stream from the internet. Often there is confusion with OTT, which is the service provider i.e. the streaming platform. And this brings us to the biggest issue there is with CTV: In an age of integrated marketing strategies, how do marketers bridge the gap between mobile, desktop and connected TV devices? It’s much easier, for instance, to track someone’s purchase on a desktop device when they just clicked a desktop Facebook ad, rather than when there are multiple devices at play. “Are people who saw my Facebook ad on their mobile also seeing my connected TV ad?,” Gijsbert muses.
There are integrated approaches to solve this
Gijsbert pointed out three ways to bridge this cross-device attribution issue. First up, utilising a graph that maps out devices belonging to a certain household, and their usage patterns across them. This enables advertisers to work out whether a CTV ad view for instance correlated with one on a desktop or mobile, and potentially a purchase too. Gijsbert points out a pitfall here, however: “This is controversial when the debate around privacy is so great, as it permanently maps out how the households are using devices.”
Another tactic mentioned by Gijsbert was to use the IP address as a type of probabilistic measurement. “The assumption is that when people use connected TV, they use the same IP address when they convert on mobile devices,” he says. For KPIs like installs for example, this works. One issue however is that some won’t be logged into their residential IP address, meaning advertisers will inevitably miss out.
And the final tactic is a deterministic one: Gijsbert recommends that advertisers utilise some sort of direct response in their CTV ads. By making sure that people who see your ad have a way of directly responding on a desktop or mobile device, advertisers can ensure that they bridge the gap between devices.
Burger King are leading the CTV pack
So, are there any creative ways brands are using CTV for their ads? “The best one I have seen is from Burger King,” admits Gijsbert. “That’s when you know CTV is past the avant garde stage.” In the Burger King ad, users need to catch the moving QR code with their mobile phone. And the incentivisation is nothing other than a free Whopper burger! Users who catch the QR code then download the app, which then enables them to get their free meal at the physical restaurant. “People are far more receptive to messages on a TV screen,” says Gijsbert. “But far more willing to take action on a mobile device.” And this is perfectly exemplified by the Burger King whopper ad.
The future of CTV is bright — and definitely not static. Gijsbert points out a number of developments he thinks will happen in the space going forward, including a number of new ad formats. First up, there will be new formats of direct response ads and different length ads. “Most of the companies that supply streaming devices are starting to offer apps that use a mobile phone as the remote control on the CTV device,” he says. “And on Hulu they are experimenting with pause ads that are undisruptive, occurring when you decide to pause content”. Which types of advertisers will be utilising this format? Gijsbert points out food delivery, drinks or (flashback!) toilet paper, as products and verticals that users tend to head to in broadcast breaks.
Are there any other advancements expected for this channel? Two others that were pointed out in our webinar were integrated localised ads and commercialised content. Gijsbert pointed out an example from Chinese company Tencent, which has developed a software that can insert ads within actual content. An example: imagine you’re watching a TV show and the protagonist is walking besides a bus, or potentially eating in a restaurant. With Tencent’s software, they can insert realistic billboards on the bus, on leaflets on the table – advertisements that relate to the local viewer. “It’s amazing what you can do with that,” says Gijsbert. As for commercialised content, that’s more to do with being able to buy the objects in the video content you are watching. And Gijsbert references none other than James Bond for his example. “You see that jacket and you decide you want it,” he says. “And then you can directly buy it.” Referencing also the potential for sports advertisers – particularly with regards to sports team shirts – there’s a lot of potential here. “The sky is the limit,” smiles Gijsbert.
We won’t disagree. CTV has really shown itself to be a high-potential and high-impact channel over the past few years and the story is only just beginning. And if you want to learn even more, don’t miss out on our ultimate how-to guide written together with Adjust. Enjoy!