Don’t Let CTV Ads Serve Audiences Too Much of a Good Thing

Helen Lum, Executive Vice President, App Science®
Helen Lum, Executive Vice President, App Science®
July 5, 2021

The growth of connected TV or CTV (household usage up 16% in the U.S. last year and poised for more expansion in 2021) has been a boon to media companies, content owners and advertisers. With an increasing amount of first-party data and more ways to reach consumers via the most valuable piece of ad real estate — the TV screen — it’s never been more advantageous or efficient to target brand messaging to consumers.

And yet, despite the capabilities that TV, and especially CTV, currently provides, major issues remain when compared to linear environments. In particular:

Ad Oversaturation

As CTV adoption keeps growing, advertisers are finding it difficult to identify and manage reach and frequency, in an effort to avoid oversaturating consumers with messaging over and over again. While repetition is an effective marketing tool, there’s a limit for consumers on how many times they can view your ad before it becomes tiresome and/or white noise.

Ad-supported platforms like NBCU have already gotten creative in the past year with regard to limiting ad times and commercial breaks within shows, but obviously what makes that most effective (or not) is how the shorter time with ads is utilized. Further, consumers also have a growing number of ad-free streaming options available to them at similar costs.

Transparency Required

Related to that oversaturation issue, advertisers need transparency across platforms to avoid duplicated ad viewings. Frequency capping on the platform level is a great start. But for many TV advertisers, spots are being delivered across platforms — both within linear and streaming environments. Having the transparent infrastructure in place allows advertisers and media companies alike to get a better handle on overexposure at the household level — especially with so many partners tapping into similar CTV and OTT inventory.

Flexibility is Key

The biggest buzzword at this year’s upfronts was flexibility, and how networks (and their streaming platforms) could provide more of it in the wake of a tumultuous year on TV. Pandemic-induced programming changes, audience shifts, and cancellations left advertisers scrambling — and at times, locked into buys they otherwise might have avoided.

Flexibility also extends to CTV ad placements as well.

Brands working in concert with adaptive infrastructure both facilitate more valuable ad exposures and prevent wasted dollars by way of overexposure to a certain brand or ad creative. Maximizing budgets for advertisers encourage further investment in TV — and the growth of CTV. The more ad tech can help inform business decisions, the more useful TV advertising is for brands, media companies and consumers alike.

Real-time, customizable solutions help advertisers not only track household exposures and duplicated views across partners individually but provide ad buyers with opportunities to adjust campaigns, reinvest savings and reach new audiences.

By looking at collective ad exposures across media buys, brands can monitor ad frequency at a household level. By using a proprietary household graph, brands can not only look at ad exposures from a CTV standpoint but also mobile to provide a cross-screen view.

With deeper insights across devices at the household level, you can suppress ad exposures for oversaturated users, expanding audience reach and maximizing the value of media buys.

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