Advertisers have been enamoured with video advertising since the first crackly black-and-white television commercial aired during a baseball game in 1941. The ability to bring products to life with sight, sound and motion was revolutionary, setting a new standard for consumer engagement, explains Allen Klosowski, vice president, Advanced Solutions Group, SpotX.
Fast forward nearly 80 years and here we are in the world of connected TV with its array of capabilities that allow users to not only view video content, but engage and interact with it as well.
Excitement around the concept of interactive, personalised advertising on connected TV is building and not without reason. Research has indicated that interactive ads outperform standard pre-roll placements in connected TV environments, delivering higher completion rates than ads without interactivity.
In addition interactive creative can help put a dent in the nearly 85% of all internet users who browse the web while watching TV, discouraging them from fiddling with their phones during commercial breaks by giving their hands something else to do. The appeal of enhanced ad formats is clear from many different angles yet its uptake is nascent and many advertisers still have a long way to go toward understanding the myriad ways to leverage interactive creative on the connected TV screen. Now the goal is to bridge this gap.
It all starts with data
Connected TV inventory is often enhanced by an additional layer of deterministic audience data, which providers gather from their user subscriptions. This data can be used to target advanced audience segments improving relevance and value of ads in the eyes of consumers. By adding interactivity advertisers improve the ability to engage consumers and open a new channel through which to gather data.
Interactivity can add value in television environments in many ways, such as:
- Hotels and resorts can leverage online search data to target travel intenders with ads that prompt them to pan around a virtual suite, or explore on-site attractions.
- Movie studios can use viewership and location data to target interested consumers with previews displaying local showtimes.
- Retailers can capitalize on the growing ‘unboxing’ trend with ads that allow consumers to open their products and examine various features.
- Financial companies can integrate interactive maps displaying local restaurants and retailers that offer rewards for patrons with preferred credit cards.
The possibilities are broad, and the technology is here for those who are ready to take advantage of it. Take a look at how some brands are leveraging interactivity on connected TV.
Late last year VMG powered the Washington Post’s first foray into interactive connected TV advertising as part of their Avalanche ‘Grand Cru’—an interactive brand advertising experience that runs across all major OTT platforms. VMG developed an execution for Mindshare and the Washington Post designed to run through the Post’s tvOS app targeting high-income consumers. The 30-second luxury car commercial included an interactive element that allowed users to click through photo galleries highlighting interior and exterior features of the Jaguar F-Pace, which they did at a rate of nearly 60%.
BrightLine TV leveraged location data to enable a pioneering execution for Benjamin Moore paints, which are only sold through independently-owned home improvement retailers. BrightLine’s interactive Roku ad placement allowed viewers to navigate dynamic lists of nearby locations where the advertised paint was available for purchase. As an added benefit, this format made it possible for the advertiser to buy on a national scale while leveraging localized messaging to boost engagement.
Another BrightLine TV execution was used to promote Gillette’s ProFusion razor blades. Following the ad viewers were presented with a series of clickable modules offering more information about the various products. Upon clicking one they were then prompted to enter a zip code in order to receive location-based special offers and discounts. These ads could already be targeted to males based on subscriber data, but they also allowed the advertiser to collect additional data on the popularity of their various products and narrow down the precise location of each consumer.
The opportunity to create more personalised and unique ad experiences will inevitably boost effectiveness for advertisers, while also driving up the value of connected TV inventory for media owners. While it’s true that scale of interactive inventory is still in its infancy platforms like SpotX’s video ad serving platform are acting as a catalyst for growth, connecting media owners and buyers to help boost its availability particularly on Roku and Apple TV. By bringing these interactive experiences into potential customers’ living rooms rather than passively hoping that they will seek out the content for themselves, advertisers and media owners can capitalize on the advanced technology and pad their bottom lines.