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The point where TV meets digital is currently one of the most exciting places in media.

Connected TV, broadcast video, addressable TV – all these innovations are changing the way consumers and advertisers think about video advertising.  Suddenly, TV can stretch from the top of the marketing funnel to the bottom, from multi-national to local, and from B2C to B2B. Marketers can think bigger – about new ways of using the medium and combinations of channels – but also smaller – more closely targeted audiences. And they can increasingly buy programmatically, meaning greater efficiency and agility.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has driven greater levels of viewing across a multitude of platforms, making the opportunities for advertisers even more compelling.

So, what challenges do marketers face as they move into this new world? The Drum’s Creative Transformation Festival brought together Simon Betts, UK and global client director of RTL AdConnect and Dean Weaving, head of display, video & social at Deliveroo, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in realizing its potential.

Among the key takeaways from the session were:

  • Establish objectives;
  • Test and learn;
  • Think about creative.

 

Establish objectives

The excitement in this space is driven by the way it combines TV’s reach and impact with the granular data available online. That means advertising is more effective, because it’s better targeted, and also more efficient, because there’s less wastage.

“We always talk about TV or high-end videos using content or channel or genre as a proxy,” said Weaving. “But if we’re already looking at the segmentation of our first-party audiences from our planning, and then we can overlay it with that fuller way of thinking, it allows us to create really nice pools of inventory. We can say, ‘We know these high-end females are here from a segment perspective, but we also know from our panel data that they index very highly to watch these shows’, which allows us to finely tune where we want to spend our money.”

The combination also creates new opportunities, for example by showing brands new places to find their audiences.

“Traditionally, we’ve used a demographic approach to audiences, but we know that’s not necessarily the whole story,” Betts explained. “There are pockets of people that watch lots of different content that maybe you wouldn’t expect them to. Look at something like Love Island; everybody thinks it has an incredibly young audience, but there are people right across the spectrum that watch and engage with that sort of content.”

The key, Weaving said, is to know what you’re trying to achieve, because then you can think about how you’ll know whether it’s working.

 

Test and learn

The way to approach this, Weaving believes, is to test and learn.

“If I move a lot of my spend over to a particular channel, how would that stack up against what I’m delivering now? Will it move the needle? And how do we measure that?” he said. “And then how do we make big bets and big decisions?”

Measurement remains a big issue, because of the difficulty of reconciling the online and offline approaches.

“Trying to build a measurement framework for what digital video can offer across the full spectrum of different products is really difficult,” said Weaving. “We’re taking something that’s been historically planned by audience penetration or reach, and we want to do something more sophisticated, but there’s all these hurdles. I don’t think anyone’s been able to crack having a holistic approach to video - but hopefully we’ll get there soon.”

 

Think about creative

Another issue raised by improved targeting is that it demands more creative, as Betts pointed out.

“With the ability to target differently and aim at different audiences, you need to have slightly tweaked messages to do that job properly. Otherwise, what’s the point?” he asked. “That’s a creative conundrum that brands have to figure out. How can they offer those nuances to their message without it costing a fortune to reshoot something every time?”

According to Weaving, Deliveroo has just begun this conversation with its creative agency.

“As we start to look at using video across the funnel, and across our audiences, we have to have a multitude of different creative sets that we can choose from, and then start to build those creatives as required,” he said. “The idea is that a six-second bumper on YouTube or in-stream needs to have some resonance with the ‘big ad’, but it also needs to be different enough that it’s localized, or it’s friendly enough to the consumer.”

Despite these challenges, Weaving remains convinced we’re on the verge of a new era in TV and video advertising.

“TV has always been very much a brand offering,” he said, “but now we can start to tap into the different places where we’re talking to our audiences, using video across the whole funnel, at different prices, at different times. I’ve never seen anyone think about it like that before.”

Watch ‘The Future of Video Advertising: think bigger... and smaller’ CT Fest session here.