Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Entering a new era of personalised experiences with CTV

By Ben Murphy, UK MD at Quantcast

The sun is setting on the era of traditional TV. The pandemic should have been a boon for broadcast, yet its share of all adult viewing fell to 61% in the UK last year. Instead, audiences are flocking to streaming platforms, consuming content on-demand via connected TV (CTV) devices. While it goes without saying that traditional broadcasters are a big part of the new era, reacting to these changes with leading OTT services, new competitors are on the horizon.

Ever since the first TV commercial aired in 1941, advertisers would scoop up ad spots at designated times and during designated programming, making buys based on the program’s overall audience. However, CTV is set to change that. Instead of adverts being shown at predetermined times to a general audience, they are delivered according to the viewer, representing a new frontier in personalised content experiences.

Getting personal

As the effectiveness of broadcast advertising wanes along with its audience, CTV is enabling advertisers to make massive inroads into personalised advertising by exploring audience demographics, interests, and location. One of the first brands to harness the power of CTV was Pringles with its interactive Super Bowl ad campaign in 2019.

The campaign’s ads were tailored to display the city in which the viewer was located (for example, “New York” or “Chicago”). Following the personalised greeting, viewers were then invited to swipe through chip flavours to create different combinations. The campaign’s unprecedented level of personalisation and interaction saw it achieve over 6.4% in engagement, with households swiping the ad an average of six times each time they viewed it.

Pringles’ highly entertaining and engaging campaign allowed it to stand out at that year’s Super Bowl – no easy feat, considering the commercials that come out to compete at this annual advertising extravaganza. It’s clear that greater interaction and personalization works for everyone: advertisers, brands, and, most importantly, the consumer. Everyone wins when advertising is more useful and relevant.

A step forward for cross-channel advertising

As an internet-enabled device, CTV is melding seamlessly into the programmatic ecosystem. Ad tech players are tapping into audience intelligence technology to create, and further enrich, our behavioural and psychographic understanding of consumers. 

In fact, brands and advertisers can already build bespoke and actionable audiences by interest and intent by making sense of real-time content consumption across the open internet and conducting keyword analysis. Audience intelligence better informs campaign planning and is the key to driving more impactful, resonant advertising.

While it may still be early days for CTV advertising, we already know what to expect moving forward. The average household in the UK has 10.3 internet-enabled devices, and consumers are jumping between devices and channels with greater frequency than ever before. CTV should therefore be right up there with desktop and mobile as key channels for consideration, neatly tying up this growing web of touchpoints and consumer activity.

That’s why I recommend brands and advertisers to start experimenting with CTV today. The future is bright, and it’s already here.