Are curated partnerships and data collaboration the keys to unlocking the potential of CTV advertising? Does the CTV format offer more creative possibilities for marketers than traditional TV advertising?
New Digital Age, in association with Mediarithmics, recently hosted a roundtable lunch to explore these issues and more. NDA editor Justin Pearse chaired the discussion and was joined by: Rachael Philpot, Business Director, Vevo UK & International; Ian van Der Putten, European Marketing Director and Business Development, OUTtv; Charlie Glyn, Ad Technology Leader at Channel 4 Sales; Andy Jones, Head of UK Sales, Samsung Ads; Lottie Towler, Research Manager, Ampere Analysis, Mike Shaw, Head of International Ad Sales at Roku; Phil Rabey, General Manager International, and Gilles Chetelat, CEO, both of Mediarithmics.
Having covered the challenges of CTV in the first half of the roundtable discussion, conversation turned to the role of data collaboration in successfully navigating the fragmented world of CTV.
Jones believes that partnerships are fundamental to success in the CTV ad space. He said: “Ultimately, from a Samsung point of view, we have a lot of screens, be it TVs, mobiles, or tablets. If you can start linking all of those up with data, either our own data or third-party data, then the future becomes pretty exciting because you could ultimately measure ad exposure through to purchase. That’s not something that’s readily available right now but, through partnership, through collaboration, I think it absolutely can be.”
Shaw noted the development of the CTV marketplace is overlapping the phenomenal growth of retail media: “We’ve done a lot of collaboration with retail media networks in the US and see things gearing up in Canada and Mexico too. Ad units don’t need to be simply 15 or 30 second units anymore. Now, you can click on them or move them to a different device, in ways that make transactions smooth and easy. For example, a ‘movie night’ package where you order a takeaway to arrive just before the latest episode of your favourite show or a new movie is released. That sort of thing will become mainstream very soon. As an industry, we’re really just at the beginning of exploring CTV as a place to transact.”
Mediarithmics’ CEO Chetalat agreed that data collaborations will underpin the future of CTV. He said: “We’re seeing more and more TV broadcasters partnering with retailers and retail media networks on behalf of brand advertisers. Brands, especially FMCG brands without a lot of their own first-party data, want to make sure that they can access and leverage up-to-date consumer data across their full marketing funnel.
“It’s interesting that we’ve spoken a lot about audiences, but I’m not so sure that CEOs of those FMCG brands talk a lot about audiences. They talk about revenue and want to understand the measurement and the attribution of sales to a specific media investment. In CTV right now, activation and attribution are both getting smarter all the time and I think in the years to come we’ll see a lot of innovation around data from the upper funnel feeding into lower funnel activity.”
Creating new opportunities
van Der Putten told of how OUTtv has launched the first LGBT channels in numerous territories, indicating that the evolution of CTV is creating new opportunities for advertisers to reach audiences that haven’t always been catered for in the past.
“We work with a lot of advertisers on 360-degree campaigns, where we produce programming, we do spokesman spots, and host events together with them. Our audience is a community with its own preferences and expectations, so we work with brands to train them in the best way to communicate with OUTtv viewers. Some luxury brands like Rolex tend to be marketed towards straight, white men but, in reality, the OUTtv audience are big consumers of high value brands.”
Glyn of Channel 4 Sales believes that the nature of CTV naturally lends itself to a closer relationship between brands and media owners: “One of the biggest differences between CTV inventory versus digital display, for example, is that there isn’t as much CTV available on the open exchange. The Private Marketplace (PMP) route means that there is automatically a different sort of relationship between the (logged in) end-user and the content platform which, as well as reducing the potential for the sort of ad fraud seen in display, also opens up new creative possibilities for advertisers.”
Philpot argued that the creative opportunities of CTV will begin to show themselves as time goes on. She said: “We’re all really breaking new ground here. Right now, we have money coming into CTV from digital teams, some from AV teams. As the market matures and becomes more established, I think the creative opportunities will become more obvious and more apparent.
“In some respects, we might go full circle, with targeting being informed by context, rather than just data. There’s just so much content out there for a diverse range of audiences that we could be exploring creativity from a targeting perspective and, moving forward, perhaps even targeting on the basis of mood and mindset, which is something we are already helping advertisers with at Vevo.”
Towler agreed that from a creativity perspective, we have yet to scratch the surface of what CTV might ultimately be capable of: “As data partnerships progress, it’ll be interesting to see how much of that data is used to target people very specifically, versus how much is used for attribution and analysis. Once CTV has cracked its measurement issues, it could open up a new world for creativity with things like sequential campaigns across multiple devices. It’s going to be really interesting to see what can be done.”
It’s clear, then, that CTV advertising is a marketplace where the opportunities are rich, even if the full picture is still coming into focus.