October 8, 2021

What’s new in TV marketing?

What's new in TV marketing?

One thing that stays constant, even in the midst of challenging circumstances such as a pandemic, is that people consume media. We always seek out entertainment and information. Content consumption is at an all-time high and therefore, competition for viewer’s attention is as well. However, 84% of marketers say that it is getting harder to grab a consumer’s attention with television advertising alone. Most advertisers surveyed say that TV ads isn’t the first thing that they plan anymore, instead starting with digital and then working in TV. How can CTV and OTT change that?


Many marketers are using CTV (connected TV) or OTT (over-the-top) channels to target consumers using streaming services and connected TV devices such as Hulu and Roku. Advertises are embracing these platforms as more and more ad space becomes available. Spending for CTV advertising grew from $6.94 billion in 2019 to $8.88 billion in 2020, a 28% increase.

Advertiser spent an estimated $8.88 billion on CTV in 2020

What’s the difference between CTV and OTT? Connected TV are things like Apple TV and Amazon Firestick. It is marketing based on the devices used to connect users to TV without cable. Over the Top is advertising space found on streaming services, like hulu and Peacock. (Personally, it helps me to think of them like CTV is hardware and OTT is software.) Right now in the United States more people are reachable through CTV and OTT than with cable. Hulu alone made $3 billion in ad revenue last year!


What are some disadvantages? There is one main thing. CTV and OTT have lower engagement rates than people who come from digital advertising expect. Why? Well, theres no way to click or show engagement through your TV. For the consumer to follow through a call-to-action, they probably are going to use a different device. Cross device traffic is harder to push and harder to track.

With old school TV advertising, an ad’s effectiveness was tracked by seeing if sales went up in the area the ad played. Thats just not enough data now, especially if CTV/OTT is just a piece of a multichannel campaign. It’s important to be able to track every part of a campaign.

Tracking Options

Option 1: Use IPs. Most people make big purchases on their home wifi. Using retargeting and IP based cookies, it’s pretty simple to serve ads across devices.

Burger King gamified CTV ad.
Burger King’s

Option 2: Use, specific trackable call-to-actions. Building in gamification to CTV/OTT ads allows consumers to use their phones to follow the call-to-action. The QR-code Burger King ad is a fantastic example of this. In a CTV ad, Burger King challenged consumers to “catch” a moving QR code. If you caught the QR code, it took you to download their app and with the app download, they gave you a free Whopper. It was fun and engaging AND trackable.

Into the Future

Since CTV/OTT is a relatively new ad format, theres a lot new and exciting ways it can be used in the future!

  1. New ad formats.
    We will probably see more direct response ads like the Burger King one. As well as things like pause ads. Ads the are promoted when a users pauses the program. A great way some companies are starting to use this is thinking about why someone would need to pause the show. Are they hungry? How about an Uber Eats ads? Or do they need a bathroom break? Maybe a toilet paper ad?

    Another new ad format is contextual-in-show advertising. A billboard in the background of a show can be sold as ad space. It can be changed based on who is watching the show.
  2. Programmatic Linear TV is also starting to become more of an option. Although quite new, it’s becoming more possible to use Nielsen-based user-level data (age, demographic, income) or media-level targeting (show, part of day, network) to inform programmatic style ad spend for traditional linear TV. 20% of advertisers surveyed said that they planned to incorporate programmatic linear into their marketing plans this year, and another 20% said that while they aren’t incorporating it this year, they plan to in the near future.

How will TV advertising change in the future? It’s possible that as CTV and OTT take over the traditional TV space household level targeting such as IP address and Neilson style demographics will become the identification of choice for marketers looking to incorporate TV into their omnichannel campaigns.  

Using new tools and integrating in traditional ones, marketers will be able to effectively use TV in their campaigns on into the future!


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