As consumers, we have myriad choices when it comes to how we watch TV. We can record it, stream it, demand it, and of course binge it. As advertisers, it’s important to consider how this new “advanced TV” landscape fits into our strategic media plans, if at all.

So what is it exactly? Simply put, advanced TV advertising includes all the ways to buy TV beyond traditional linear television. Think of it as the “new TV”. Let’s first break down some of the main advanced TV advertising options.

  • Video on demand (VOD) includes watching a previously aired show via an on demand menu of a cable provider, as well as watching streaming content through other methods like apps on a connected TV. Ads are full screen, primarily unskippable, and are viewable on all screens (TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone). A VOD buy can also leverage addressable targeting (serving ads to specific households or users that match your target audience profile).
  • Connected TV (CTV) advertising includes serving ads to users that are streaming video content on their TV via an internet connection. It’s also often called “over-the-top (OTT)” advertising. Content is accessed through apps on the TV. Users can be targeted based on their behavioral, demographic, or geographic data, as well as more granular one-to-one addressable targeting. For some advertisers, content or genre targeting are well suited options as well. Ads on CTV are full-screen and will play when an app is first launched, or while app content is streaming, further increasing the chances the viewer is immersed.

Confused about what makes a TV “connected”? Smart TVs are made with built-in internet connection capabilities so they are essentially synonymous with the term, as long as the user pays for an internet service. Other TVs can become a connected TV via over-the-top (OTT) devices like Apple TV or Roku, streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, or through a gaming console like Xbox One.

  • Addressable TV– With this strategy, you can serve different ads to different viewers who are all watching the same live TV show (either via the internet or through their set-top box). You can target specific households that fit your target audience profile, or exclude households that you don’t want to reach. While this tactic sounds perfect, it has extremely limited scale.

Whether or not advanced TV advertising should be part of your media strategy depends on many factors. But here are some things to keep in mind before you dive in:

  • Make sure it fits into your overall strategy and consider how it will help you achieve your campaign goals.  
  • You may be excited about advanced TV but is your target audience? Look at the media consumption habits. Are they watching TV? How? And how much?
  • Scale is often limited. You may find that you’ll still want to include traditional TV in your buy to get the reach you want.
  • There are barriers to purchase. Many vendors have set cost of entry thresholds and geo-targeting limitations.
  • Repurposing traditional TV creative isn’t always ideal. Since content may be viewed on smaller screens with advanced TV, traditional creative may not translate as well.
  • Except for rare cases, it should not be used as a stand-alone tactic. While it can put your brand in front of a captivated audience in a fairly uncluttered ad environment, it remains only one part of an increasingly fragmented media ecosystem.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!