Digital Video & TV Advertising: Better Together?

Digital Video & TV Advertising: Better Together?

Digital Video and TV advertising are hot topics at the moment, with marketers striving to lead the way and reap the rewards of being an early adopter. However, with consumer behaviour changing so rapidly this is a sprint race where those who can apply the learnings from TV into digital video, and vice versa, will be the ultimate winners. Sarah Lawson Johnston, managing director Europe, Mediaocean, speaks exclusively to ExchangeWire:

It won’t surprise anyone that media consumption is moving towards a unified cross-screen experience. In fact, TV viewing on TV sets declined by 4.5% last year, compared to 2013; while digital video viewing on tablets and laptops grew by 17%. Yet, TV remains the most effective channel for advertisers, boasting the highest engagement, reach, and impact, alongside unrivalled levels of consumer trust. However, digital video advertising is gaining ground, with video ads producing significant lift in ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration.

When it comes to advertising, TV and digital video are very different marketplaces. TV advertising is a scarcity market with limited slots that command premium prices. For example, there is a limit to the number of 30-second commercials that can be slotted into Downton Abbey’s 13 minutes of ad breaks. The digital video landscape is far more fragmented – with copious inventory available at much lower rates – but there are still valuable lessons that TV can learn from digital video and vice versa.

So, what can TV learn from digital video?

Digital video is changing how we consume content and how the advertising experience works. With access to vast stores of online data, digital video can be targeted at a granular level, enabling advertisers to purchase inventory according to their desired audience. These advanced audience-targeting capabilities mean video advertisers can connect with hard-to-reach yet valuable audiences, such as light and medium TV viewers. In fact, almost one-in-five digital video users falls within the 25-34 age group, making video advertising the perfect medium for reaching this sought-after demographic. The good news is that TV is innovating – expanding its range of targeting capabilities to compete with digital video through services such as Sky Ad Smart.

In addition, advertisers can optimise their TV campaigns by complementing them online – a strategy that creates a lasting impact. Planning and running video ads online prior to a TV campaign boosts brand recall for the TV ad by 33%. For advertisers looking at TV and digital video as totally separate channels, now is the time to reconsider their cross-platform approach. Currently, Video on Demand (VOD) is considered an extension of traditional linear TV, whereas video platforms such as YouTube aren’t, even though the consumer doesn’t see a difference. This needs to change. We’re already seeing the emergence of sound and motion media teams within agencies — rather than distinct TV and digital video teams — to enable cross-platform buying, and the connection between the two channels will only get stronger as multi-screening behaviour increases.

What can digital video learn from TV?

Digital video advertising needs to reach the maturity point where TV is today. Media buyers want the digital video marketplace to look more like TV, and they want to buy inventory using a brand-safe method across both channels. While digital video advertising outperforms TV in terms of audience targeting, it now needs to focus on context and viewability. Identifying which ads are being viewed is crucial to avoid wasting advertising budgets in a world where 150 million viewers use some form of ad blocker.

Monitoring the impact of advertising is one area where TV advertising is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Real-time tracking technology can monitor and detect the exact time a TV ad aired, and brands can use this data to accurately measure the associated uplift and ROI, as well as delivering synchronised online advertising to support the TV slot.

Digital video has not been in the lives of consumers long enough to gain the trust that makes TV a tried and tested advertising medium. Yet the rise of on-the-go content consumption means that video is the perfect channel to reach viewers where TV cannot. With new standards laying the foundations for video advertising infrastructure, the format is rapidly approaching the maturity that will allow it to reach its full potential. Though it is not set to replace TV advertising any time soon, digital video is shaping up to be a powerful ally for TV as part of cross-screen campaigns that capture consumer attention both online and offline. In a multi-channel era, TV and video are definitely better together.

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