Take a minute, and think back to a time when a television commercial made you cry, or laugh, or perhaps both at the very same time. For me, this happens often. (A special thanks to my overactive tear ducts that never fail to react when babies or animals appear on screen.) And then, there is that moment, following the 30 second ad, that you think to yourself: “Woah, that was a great ad.”
Often times, the best ads stay with you. You remember not just the ad or the brand it belonged to, but the feeling it left you with, and you associate the two together. Regardless of whether the ad leads you to make a purchase or simply becomes a conversation topic, the fact that it continues to permeate some aspect of your life showcases the power of great advertising.
Until recently, the sorts of feelings I just described have almost always stemmed from traditional television advertising. It’s likely because of the setting: the big screen, the comfy couch, the pajamas and the bowl of snacks, perhaps surrounded by a few friends or family. TV viewing is a passive engagement, different from what we experience when actively skimming through the news on our laptop or cell phone.
TV’s organic moments are crucial to brand success, but they’re happening less often through traditional cable television. According to eMarketer research, TV consumption through connected TV (CTV) or over-the-top (OTT) devices is increasing steadily each year while cable subscriptions are diminishing. In fact, it is expected that 71% of US households will be active CTV users in 2018. More people are buying Chromecasts, Rokus, AppleTVs, and Playstations than ever before, and the number of hours spent watching shows on apps like Hulu or SlingTV is growing with them.
But we’ve all heard these stats before. So, here’s a quick summary as to why CTV is a no-brainer addition to every brand marketer’s media plan:
1. The Audience
A common misconception that keeps coming up in my conversations with our agency clients is the assumption that CTV viewers are only millennials. Yes, millennials are the generation of cord cutters. And those younger than millennials, specifically the growing Gen Z population, are likely to be cord-nevers. But, many advertisers are overlooking the older generations, who are reaping the benefits of CTV as well. Take my mom, for example; she may not be the most technologically savvy, but even she has become a devout Roku lover.
The simplicity of CTV devices, like Rokus, only continues to attract a wider audience – including members of older generations, who find the ease of use so valuable. So, while the younger CTV audience is still growing – and fast -- I’d argue that ALL audience targets can be found on CTV today, and in order for marketers to continue to reach their audience effectively, CTV absolutely needs to be on their plan.
2. The Relevance
What do you do when an ad appears on your TV screen that doesn’t capture your attention? If you’re at all like me, you’ll pick up your phone or walk to the kitchen before your show returns.
Enter the brilliance of CTV advertising. Because CTV and OTT devices are internet-connected, ads may be targeted based on the viewer’s digital behavior. For instance, if, as a consumer, you frequent healthy living sites, you might see an ad related to a new organic skincare line. And, suddenly, your TV commercials transform from being a moment to escape for a snack to a seamless and contextually relevant part of the viewing experience. And the result is a win-win for consumers and advertisers, alike: consumers enjoy ads that resonate while advertisers drive more impact and ROI from these engaging ads.
3. The Multi-Device Seamlessness
To top it off, advertisers can coordinate messaging across all Internet-connected devices – from CTV to gaming consoles to mobile phones to laptops. The result is a more powerful advertising experience than ever before. Not only can you tailor ads to a medium we already know is unquestionably impactful – the television – but you can amplify that message by serving sequentially relevant ads across every other channel and device a user is engaging with – whether she’s streaming music, reading the news on her phone, or just browsing around on the internet. Not to mention, being able to attribute all of these ads to online conversions, means that we, as marketers, can precisely measure the impact of television advertising unlike ever before.
Some still argue that traditional television buys remain effective, so why rock the boat? My response is: you’re right, keep them; but complement those buys with CTV advertising. With the impact of traditional TV advertising and the precision offered by digital advertising, there’s no question that CTV is a valuable asset to every media plan.