Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Advanced TV’s Agents of Change: Tom Roach of Jellyfish on the democratisation of TV advertising

‘Agents of Change’ is an ongoing initiative from MiQ (in partnership with New Digital Age) shining a spotlight on the individuals helping build the new Advanced TV (ATV) industry. As the ATV advertising marketplace continues to grow and expand rapidly, the series will feature profiles of key digital media execs who are helping to break down the traditional media buying silos in their own organisations. 

Here, Tom Roach, VP of Brand Strategy at digital-first marketing performance company Jellyfish, explains how he is helping to bridge the worlds of brand and performance marketing and why ATV might be the perfect environment to unite the two…

What are the main challenges to the growth of ATV advertising?

The key challenge is around cross-platform measurement, and the siloed nature of the media teams at the client side can also create issues. The flip-side is that ATV is helping to democratise TV advertising and open it up to a whole new range of digital-first and performance-driven brands. ATV offers a bridge between traditional brand-building TV campaigns and sales activation, although should mostly be seen and measured as upper funnel activity.

Is there any momentum to break down the traditional silos you mentioned?

As a company, we’re all about breaking down silos. We’re very happy to work with our clients whatever way they want and partner with whoever they want us to partner, so we’re seeing a number of different approaches from brands as they dip their toe into ATV. The big area for miscommunication between different teams is around measurement and sometimes conflicting KPIs. There’s a lot of education to be done there. 

Are advertisers exploring the full creative potential of ATV advertising?

Not yet. However, when you see the cost of CPMs on Netflix’s new AVOD offering, I suspect whoever advertises there will want to put some real creative firepower behind it, to reflect the premium environment and premium content that it’s appearing alongside. Certain brands are going to be looking again at the ‘performance’ role of digital video in their strategy and taking the opportunity for brand building that ATV opens up for them.

How are you personally acting as an agent of change within your own organisation?

There are two main ways. Firstly I’ve been raising awareness for a while in the industry about the need to bridge silos in marketing and advertising, particularly the need to bridge the worlds of ‘brand’ and ‘performance’. ATV provides a new opportunity to connect the two. I also work at a company that is trying to do just that, so I help our clients and our teams internally to understand the opportunities for brands that today’s media landscape offers them, which can help get CTV & ATV into their media plans and make the most of the creative opportunities that they open up. 

How significant will the arrival of Netflix be to the ATV ad marketplace in the UK?

The UK already has some excellent commercial broadcasters but there’s no question that Netflix has loads of very high quality content and offers advertisers access to audiences that can be hard for other broadcasters to reach. Netflix also has global reach so I can understand why it has positioned its CPMs so aggressively. Internationally, the ATV landscape varies a lot from market to market so anyone who can offer a genuinely global solution for advertisers should do well.

Netflix’s arrival has shone a light on a shift that was already underway, and is making it impossible for brands to ignore this growing new category of advertising. Netflix and CTV more broadly are going to help shift perceptions of TV advertising amongst certain types of digital-first brand. That can only be a good thing. Netflix is by no means the only one playing this role, but they’re doing a great job advertising the category.

MiQ, in partnership with New Digital Age, recently published a special insight report, Agents of Change: Shaping the future of Advanced TV advertising, featuring further profiles of key digital media executives who are helping to leverage the incredible potential of ATV. You can download the full report for free here.