Blog Connected TV ad formats evolve as the potential for user engagement increases

Connected TV ad formats evolve as the potential for user engagement increases

A common strategic approach in advertising is that if you want to acquire users, you go for digital advertising channels, and if you want to increase brand awareness, you look to television. This line of thinking is still prevalent when it comes to connected TV (CTV), even though the channel essentially represents the digitalization of television. It’s understandable that mobile marketers think this way. Acquisition of users on mobile, or any response to advertising from the user side, requires engagement, which is straightforward on mobile phones, or even on desktop devices and gaming consoles. But with TV, whether it’s connected or not, the user is normally in a different mode of content consumption, engaging in a ‘laid back’ experience and literally at a physical distance from their device.

CTV’s technical capability and the potential of ad formats on the channel are changing this, however, and 2021 has been a year of rapid growth in the space as marketers and advertisers realize the potential of the channel as a powerful UA source. The simple fact that CTVs are ‘connected’ changes the nature of how people are engaging with their TVs, and trends indicate that it’s no longer limited to sitting back and passively watching. Gaming, for example, is becoming an important vertical on CTV — 22% of all apps available on Apple TV are in the gaming vertical, and Netflix recently launched Netflix Games with five titles. This alone represents CTV’s disruption of passive consumption of video content and a shift to the active TV user.

In response to this shift, we recently launched Connected TV Ad to Mobile Measurement, which allows clients to attribute ads shown on connected TV devices - cross-device - to mobile app installs, impressions, and post-install events.

How are ad formats evolving?

People do not use CTV devices in an isolated way. Adjust research has shown that over 75% of consumers engage in ‘dual screening,’ or watching CTV while using their mobile phones. User engagement might not be guaranteed, but it’s growing. Advertisers can use this huge potential and turn CTV into a channel that creates higher brand awareness and is able to trigger a direct response.

A simple example is the integration of QR codes in commercials, which facilitate the direct download of mobile apps and can be generated directly from your Adjust tracking links. Burger King has been running QR codes on CTV for a while, and they’ve even gamified QR codes in their video ads.

There are many formats to experiment with, and new approaches emerging all the time. Hulu famously experimented with ‘pause ads,’ which appear when users hit the pause button during a stream. The concept is elegantly undisruptive and offers wonderful opportunities for contextual targeting. One of the most commonly cited examples of a pause ad was for toilet paper, which requires only one further step for ordering on a mobile device.

New ad formats, combined with contextual targeting and dual screening is set to take engagement to unprecedented heights. We’re not far off being able to click-through to purchase the exact suit James Bond is wearing while watching the movie — perhaps even his car. CTV is transforming television into a potent direct sales channel.

The formats advertisers are working with

Within the CTV ecosystem, there are essentially six formats (in addition to standard video ads) through which marketers can serve ads to users:

  • Dynamic overlay: Existing video content is leveraged, given an ‘overlay,’ and personalized for the viewer.
  • Choice-based: Users are empowered to choose the ad they want to see.
  • Shoppable and actionable video: These ads are interactive and designed to connect users to the products and brands within the ads. They can provide educational content, external links and have the potential for click-to-buy capabilities from within the ad itself.
  • Voice-integrated video ads: Users are able to use their voice to follow on-screen prompts by speaking into the remote.
  • Sequential CTV creative: A story is told over a sequence, throughout multiple ads instead of during a single slot.
  • Creative extensions and end cards: Short-form content served either before or after existing CTV creatives.

CTV can elevate TV’s branding potential and push the performance power of digital. For this to work successfully, however, measurement is crucial. It’s the only way for advertisers to determine whether their tests, experiments and campaigns are matching their KPIs. To learn more about CTV’s potential, and how you can leverage the channel to serve your brand with actionable and measurable results, get in touch here.

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