Is TV, Online Video 'Convergence' Legitimate? Real-Time With Videology CEO Ferber

Advertisers have been anxious for an easy way to link their TV and online video campaigns for years now, and the hullabaloo has led to several online video ad platforms trying to make it work.

Last week, Adap.tv launched a programmatic TV buying platform, which it says lets advertisers use data to buy the same audiences online and on TV. Videology then partnered with Nielsen to gain access to TV data to make it easy for Videology clients to compared online audiences to TV audiences.

I asked Videology’s CEO Scott Ferber what we should make of this. The company has released a report with four case studies featuring brands that successfully ran online video campaigns next to TV campaigns. But in each case, Videology noted that the brands spent significantly less for the online video component of the multi-screen campaign. Marketers know this, but it sometimes seems overlooked. You can find the report here if interested.

It’s clear this is something the industry wants to make happen, but the real question is: are we there yet, or is this simply an experimentation phase?

RTM Daily: What types of brands do cross-screen TV and video campaigns work best for? What types would it not work well for? Any reasoning behind this, or at least a theory?

Scott Ferber: As viewing continues to shift across devices, it’s hard to think of a brand advertiser who wouldn’t benefit. Cross-screen campaigns work well for virtually any brand that wants to increase its reach while taking advantage of the targeting capabilities of digital video. 

We have also found that cross-screen campaigns work particularly well in categories where consumers do online research before purchasing -- for instance, automotive purchases. Cross-screen campaigns also work very well for brands targeting harder-to-reach consumer segments. For example, younger demographics or other consumer groups who for varying reasons spend limited time with traditional television.

The handful of advertisers who might choose to remain in one medium or the other could include direct response marketers who are looking for conversions as their primary measurement, brands targeting 55+ consumers, or advertisers who do not have specific reach goals within a targeted consumer group.

RTMD: Of the four campaigns detailed in the report, how many relied on programmatic buying? What portion of the online ad spend in each of these cases was for programmatic?

Ferber: Since we view all of the video buying that is done through our platform as programmatic, 100% of cross-screen case studies were programmatic in nature. By this we mean it was automated, technology-based buying. None of the campaigns outlined in this particular research used a biddable model, however.

They all used the reservation-based buying model to purchase their impressions. Reservation-based buying is similar to the way that television is planned and purchased, so brand advertisers interested in using television and online video holistically generally opt for this strategy. Reservation-based buying still utilizes data to target and optimize, however it guarantees a set number of impressions, run over a set period of time.

RTMD: All of these case studies say something along the lines of “the TV budget was still much higher than the online budget.” Some might argue that saying, “TV and digital video are converging” can’t be true at the same time. Would you call this true convergence between TV and online, or would you call it experimentation (that’s going well, per your data)?

Ferber: Digital video continues to expand in terms total reach and total video ad views. More TV content is being consumed across devices, and consumers are changing their viewing habits to incorporate digital video into their daily media mix. The stats on this are plentiful.

I think it’s fair to say that incorporating digital video into television strategies has gone well beyond experimentation. The very definition of television is expanding.

That said, no one will argue TV is still where the bulk of the total viewing occurs, and as a result, where the bulk of dollars are spent. This won’t -- and actually shouldn’t -- change overnight. In all of the case studies cited, the difference between television reach and digital video reach correlates to the size of the budget applied.

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