"Smarter" TV Ads Means Opportunity for Digital Marketers

Marketers and media planners are constantly faced with the debate surrounding traditional television and digital video. Which do viewers spend more time watching? Which platform will give you a better ROI for your advertising dollars? Should marketers just forget about traditional TV all together?

The short answer to this debate: traditional TV is not dead, not even close.

Today’s programmatic and digital industry news states that millennials are cutting the cord on cable and if marketers and advertisers wish to target them, they have to reach them via digital platforms.

However, this isn’t the full story. Adweek reported a study done by the VAB (Video Advertising Bureau) which revealed that traditional TV lives, even with millennials:

  • The majority of viewers prefer to watch their favorite programs live
  • 81% of people reported that when watching VOD (video on demand), they watch at a time that’s convenient for them which results in increased ad impressions
  • Between 2014 and 2017, VOD ad impressions increased almost fourfold to 23.3 billion.

TV is still very present – consumers are watching it live and on demand – so for marketers, it’s important to understand that this is still a very important advertising channel not to be ignored or forgotten.

In addition, TV is seeing a lot of changes that allow for more effective targeting. Historically, this platform hasn’t seen much opportunity for growth or change, but new features and capabilities are challenging this norm, making it essential that marketers allow for budget in order to implement these changes.
The latest platform that media buyers should be investing time and budget for is Smart TVs and their compatibility with programmatic advertising. One of the biggest challenges that marketers have always found when using TV ads is tracking the consumer journey. What is the time from when they see an ad on TV to actually making a purchase? If someone sees an ad online, they click on the ad, even if they don’t purchase at that moment, as marketers, we are able to track when they eventually do make a purchase. For television, this wasn’t possible until now. Smart TVs are the solution to merging digital with TV for advertising.

Smart TVs create profiles that allow us to know who is watching which programs and thus, which ads they are seeing. This gives marketers a variety of opportunities for better targeting, segmentation, retargeting, sequential marketing, and cross-channel implementation. Examples include:

  • Targeting: Because marketers can see who is watching their ads, they no longer have to play a guessing game. Dollars can be spent more effectively as frequency and timing can be better thought out.
  • Segmentation: Traditionally, TV allowed for very little segmentation, it primarily relied on age and gender. With the smart TV profiles that are created, marketers can rely on more precisely segmented targeting profiles. This also allows them to see the most concentrated audience viewing a program.
  • Retargeting: Advertisers will know if a consumer has also seen a competitor’s ads, enabling them to target these consumers with their products instead – even a direct comparison. With Smart TVs, retargeting can happen both on TV and online.  
  • Sequential Ads: Advertisers know exactly which ads a consumer has seen. This allows them to use a series of ads, in a specific order, to tell a longer or more thorough story.
  • Cross Channel: Once a marketer knows a consumer has seen an ad, they can then target ads on the right device at the right moment.

When all of this comes together, traditional TV offers a great opportunity for marketers to reach consumers on different platforms, with unique messages and at optimal times. However, this can be taken one step further. One of the biggest advantages that advertisers have with Smart TVs is that they can also connect mobile location. This allows them to track from the moment the consumer sees the TV ad to when they eventually make it to the physical store. This eliminates the biggest challenge that TV poses in gauging the length of overall customer journey.

Traditional TV remains an essential part of advertisers budgets and should not be counted out anytime soon. But, in tandem with that, marketers need to ensure they are staying up to date on the latest features and tactics to ensure they are getting the most out of their spend. Tactics like Smart TVs and the ability to track and target cross-channel is a prime opportunity for media planners to reach performance KPIs. Consumers who saw a TV ad followed by a digital ad are 4x more likely to visit the physical store than those who only saw the TV ad. Similarly, consumers who see ads on both platforms, are 3x more likely to make a digital purchase within the hour. It’s clear that with programmatic capabilities, marketers are able to track their advertising more effectively, spend more efficiently and learn more about their consumers.

Talk to us about our TV and Video media buying capabilities including linear TV, programmatic TV, in-stream, out-stream, addressable TV and more.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic Part 3: Content


Knowing that the United States was not competing in the 2018 Fifa World Cup, people were skeptical about how many Americans would tune in to watch the other countries compete. Now, as the semi-final games approach, it is clear that not having a home team to root for, the United States is simply not as interested in this year’s competition as they were in 2014. Bloomberg has reported that the number of American viewers watching the games has fallen by 44%. In 2014, the games averaged about 3.55 million viewers, and this year its around 1.98 million.   

Fox and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, who together paid more than $1 billion, for the rights to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, were somewhat expecting this decline. After the announcement in October that the US would not be competing, Fox lowered the audience it guaranteed advertisers as much as 20%. In order to still prompt excitement for the games, these networks focused their attention on Mexico’s appearance in the competition, hoping to gain viewership from bilingual fans. This found success as Telemundo’s most watched game, with 6.6 million viewers, was Mexico vs. Germany on June 29.

Despite the lack of World Cup interest in the United States, other countries all over the world are bringing in record-setting viewer numbers. 19.9 million people tuned into BBC to watch England beat Sweden to advance to the semi-final game. Those numbers only reflect people watching in their living room, not taking into account the hundreds of people that gathered at pubs to watch the game. When these fans are taken into account, the total number of people that watched that game, jumps closer to 30 million people.

Whether the number of viewers watching in respective countries is higher or lower than the competition four years ago, media analysts are focusing on the number of fans tuning in on their mobile device or streaming. BBC has reported that their online platform has had more than 31.2 million people watch the group match round. This is shocking when compared to the 32 million viewers who used an online platform throughout all of the 2014 tournament in Brazil. It is clear that the shift in favor of cable cutting is affecting all areas of television, even one of the most-watched global events.

More and more people are shifting away from cable, but still finding ways to tune into the games. Streaming, online or mobile, or choosing to watch the games at a pub or bar is making it trickier to track the specific number of viewers so far in the tournament. However, it gives advertisers more ways to reach consumers. In MediaMath’s World Cup Infographic, they outlined trends to watch during the tournament. Some of the best ways to reach fans were on streaming sites such as espn.com and sites where people can easily check scores, such as skyscore.com. We will have to wait until a final winner is decided and the games conclude, to see how the numbers from this year’s tournament compare to 2014 – who’s final match alone had 1.013 billion viewers. But for now, as media consumption trends change, advertisers need to stay up to date on the plethora of ways to reach fans, beyond cable television.


Digilant’s FIFA 2018 Digital Advertising Infographic covers who the consumers are, social media trends, how the content is consumed and by who, and more!

Download the full infographic here and don’t forget to share #DigilantData.

Interested in learning more about the impact on retail during the World Cup? Check out Part 4 of our FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic series here.



Like what you see? Join the 500+ clients that have partnered with Digilant.