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Hackernoon logoHow CTV Changes Brand Advertising  by@Platonenko

How CTV Changes Brand Advertising 

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@PlatonenkoNick

CEO of https://vlogbox.com/

Successful branding is among the most crucial elements that set great companies apart from mediocre ones. But in the information age, where millions of voices compete for our attention across a myriad of channels, businesses struggle with executing an effective brand strategy. Not only do they have to make their brand clear and relatable, but also it’s important to make sure desired audiences notice it. 

The key is to follow audiences on their preferred media. Businesses have already benefited from ads on websites, social media, and mobile devices. Now it’s time for marketers to flaunt their brands on the connected TV.

Attention as a Metric

Since the dawn of time, our ancestors have gathered around the fire to establish strong bonds vital for survival. Though human lifestyle has drastically transformed, our nature remains relatively unchanged. We still tend to spend time together in our living rooms, congregating around TV screens instead of the bonfire.  

The IAB study revealed that as much as 93% of viewers enjoy their favorite shows on TV in the company of other people. Co-viewing, the practice of watching video content with others, is present on both linear and connected television. However, this metric on CTV is considerably higher which makes it an efficient platform for marketing activities. It is especially good news for branding specialists as 45% of viewers admitted they can change their opinion about the brand while co-viewing. 

In the same study, IAB uncovers that more than two-thirds of co-viewers dedicate moderate to full attention to ads on CTV. Not only do viewers watch ads more closely, but they also comment on them, share the product on social media or messengers, and express their opinions. Thereby, ads aired on CTV become far more impactful than their pricey analogs on linear television. 

Brand channels 

Companies have already become heavily invested in connected TV.  97% of businesses decided to increase marketing budgets on this medium. What’s more, experts predict CTV ad spend to hit $20 billion this year. The next logical step for brands should be reaching out to their prospects from the comfort of their own CTV channel. 

Starting a brand channel on connected TV will add up to gains from marketing activities the way it did on YouTube and social media platforms. It will help increase awareness, expand audience reach, and engage with new demographics, especially cord cutters and cord nevers

A channel on CTV becomes yet another brick in the brand building strategy wall, where the company’s main objective is not to sell its product or service, but rather bring value in the form of educational or entertaining content. Besides, those brands that have already established YouTube channels can effortlessly upcycle their videos by cross-publishing them on CTV. 

Of course, some marketers may find the idea of running a company-owned CTV channel intimidating. It is understandable given the troubles and expenses associated with creating an app and promoting such a channel. However, the greater part of these difficulties may be avoided with platforms such as VlogBox that take charge of development, support and monetization.

CTV ads: awareness lift and primetime 

As similar as CTV ads may be to those on its linear predecessor, there are some fundamental differences in their efficiency. Traditional commercial breaks have been on people’s screens long enough for them to find a way to skip annoying ads. According to The Guardian, 86% of viewers fast-forward through commercials when watching timeshifted programming. 

The situation is completely different on connected TV for a number of reasons. Firstly, CTV ads take only a fracture of the time compared to commercial breaks on traditional television. Secondly, they are not equipped with the Skip button. Thirdly, viewers are informed about the duration of an ad by a countdown timer. And lastly, users don’t actually mind viewing short advertisements as long as they find them relevant. 

These factors are in the hands of businesses that place their ads on CTV platforms. 98% of such advertisements are completed, which translates into an increase of aided awareness by 15%, brand favorability by 13% and purchase intent by 8%. 

Additionally, on CTV companies are able to deliver their branding messages within primetime hours. 22% of daily ad requests for CTV take place between 8 and 11 in the evening. This tendency once again proves that users skip major network programs to consume content on CTV during peak advertising hours. 

Knowing your viewership

Engaging with relevant audiences is another clear distinction between CTV and linear TV. The former offers capabilities to comprise target audiences virtually down to the last detail. Brands are enabled to interact with the most specific users thanks to first and third party data. Also, they can deliver highly personalized commercials to their prospects using appealing device-friendly creatives. 

In order to continue the conversation started on connected TV, businesses employ cross-device marketing available on major CTV ads. This is a particularly handy feature keeping in mind that while watching TV, viewers oftentimes spend time on social media or web browsers. Their favorite activities include discussing the show with their friends on messengers, looking up info about the cast and crew, checking reviews or sharing viewed ads on social media. 

CTV amid social distancing

First forcing people into lockdown and then introducing unprecedented social distancing measures impacted the way viewers consume content. This prompted CTV to gain even more attention. According to this Nielsen report, the collective CTV viewing time grew from 2.7 billion hours on March 2 to 3.9 billion hours as of March 23. Notably, the hours of watched content in the living room saw the most significant increase which indicates a rise of co-viewing up to 64.1% by the end of March. 

It is indicative that the number of these hours remained almost the same after lockdown restrictions were lifted. Thus, at the beginning of May, CTV viewing time amounted to 3.5 billion hours demonstrating a year-over-year increase of 81%. 

Another recent survey suggests that 35% of consumers in the US have tried one of the ad-supported streaming services since the outset of COVID-19 pandemic, and 79% intend to continue using such services. Furthermore, 44% of viewers plan to reduce spending on paid subscriptions for TV services while 42% are going to stop paying for cable television completely. 

Large brands on CTV

While being deprived of other traditional brand-building activities with closed stadiums and canceled live events, companies are fast to grasp plentiful opportunities brought with the CTV growth. Marketing leaders at Kraft Heinz, MolsonCoors, and L'Oréal commented on how they are engaging with audiences on connected TV in order to “fluidly follow [the consumer] wherever she shows up in whatever medium she chooses, to be without constraints.” The key benefits seen by the brands are flexibility, fluidity, and enhanced opportunities. 

When speaking about the importance of CTV, Shenan Reed, senior vice president and head of media at L'Oréal stressed that the objective does not necessarily have to be chasing only such outcomes as ROAS or ROI that directly lead to sales. "We have to remember the value and purpose of using CTV in the first place and attribution is such an important piece." 

Another crucial part of brand building includes companies not leaving the customers that are experiencing reduced paying capacity due to the economic crises provoked by The Coronavirus. Reed explained that even though a large segment of viewers cannot allow themselves to be brand’s consumers at this point, it’s essential to maintain relationships until they are able to get back on their feet. 

At the same time, the brands admitted that they don’t perceive CTV as an alternative to linear television as it still is a potent driving force behind their business. Connected TV rather helps businesses to extend their marketing activities especially amidst the global health and economic crisis. 

Takeaways

Conveying a clear and convincing branding message to the right audiences is becoming an increasingly arduous task in an environment with constant media noise.

However, a large portion of difficulties may be alleviated by utilizing connected TV as a marketing and branding platform. This media is rapidly gaining momentum due to a growing number of cord-cutters, as well as the social distancing rules caused by the pandemic.

By running their advertisements on CTV, companies engage with new demographics, access primetime ad slots, and grow brand awareness. In turn, a company-owned channel on connected TV gives businesses yet another platform to maintain contact with their audiences at little to no extra cost.

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