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Connected TV Ads and the Holidays: Leveraging Merry Opportunities

Daniel Elad
Daniel Elad (Image credit: TheViewPoint)

 The pandemic has pushed decision-makers across numerous domains to reconsider their marketing and advertising spend. This spring and summer, we’ve seen brands completely canceling, pausing and reallocating their ad budgets across ad channels. Proven to be a surviving — and steadily swelling — channel, connected TV (CTV) keeps growing and attracting more viewers, marketers, and ad investments.

Now the holiday season is not far off, and as advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) viewing time hits record levels, savvy marketers just can’t leave CTV ads out of their holiday timetables. The primary reason is that streaming video time has almost doubled since last year, attracting one in five U.S. internet users (about 57 million people) who access AVOD. Besides, with 66% of shoppers planning to buy online more this year, it seems this holiday shopping season will be a blast for e-commerce.

Streaming and Buying Behavior 

Along with the overall time spent on video streaming, the correlation between shoppers and streamers increases as well. According to a recent Roku report, so far, in the U.S. alone, 85% of households are streaming video. But what’s even more interesting is that the majority of U.S. buyers-and-streamers (79%) are going to increase their holiday spending significantly compared to non-streamers (55%).

The rise of CTV viewership and shoppers’ New Year’s resolutions to buy more have given marketers every reason to be where their consumers are. Moreover, to win buyers’ attention and count on some part of their holiday budget, marketers should start their campaigns ASAP. While considering how to get the most out of CTV campaigns, it’s essential to take a closer look at several peculiarities of the promising streaming and buying audiences.

The lockdown has become a critical factor prompting adjustments to streaming and online shopping hours. Streaming hours shifted to traditional workday times, peaking during the slot between 1 p.m.
and 4 p.m. So did online shopping hours: now 62% of buyers make their purchases between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Simultaneously, buyers tend to purchase from the brands and shops that offer them discounts as well as free or cheap and fast delivery. 

As for specific goods, more than 40% of shoppers in the U.S. plan to purchase a new television this year as a gift to themselves or their families, so they’re exploring various smart-TV options. With more time spent at home working, exercising and learning, homeware, sports goods, toys and other stay-at-home related categories will be spiking during the holiday season. 

With these insights, marketers had better hop on the holiday shopping bandwagon as about 40% of shoppers have already started their purchases for the holidays in early November, and 30% more buyers will join them before Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 

What makes CTV advertising a cornerstone of media strategy, especially during the upcoming holiday season, is the immediate value it brings to marketers. Since streamers mainly watch CTV content simultaneously using smartphones or tablets, they are ready to purchase right away. Very recent findings by Roku show that 44% of streamers shop online while streaming. Besides, two-thirds of the millennial streaming audience pauses a streaming ad to go online and shop for the product. This is completely reshaping the traditional path to purchase.

What are the specific actions marketers can take this festive season to get the most out of CTV advertising? 

Start with the audience. Use the power of streaming video and consumer behavior insights. Explore your audience carefully: know if they prefer streaming live or binge-watching; if they use a smart TV or a smartphone; if they interact better with display, shoppable or other types of ads. These precise insights will help you allocate your budgets wisely and think in a multi-channel dimension.

Split and test. Split your target audience into different segments depending on product categories they are interested in and run a separate campaign for each segment.

Think cross-device. Since holiday shoppers are using several devices while watching CTV content, brands need to establish their presence across all the screens gift seekers interact with. Thanks to the advanced metrics CTV provides, you can build accurate cross-device paths and track conversions properly and clearly.

Take advantage of CTV retargeting. Reach out to your online store visitors and potential buyers who abandoned shopping carts with persuasive ads over a CTV screen. Use CTV advertising to get them back to the products they were exploring.

Come up with compelling ad creative. A concise ad message wrapped up in eye-
catching creative and transmitted in an engaging format makes an essential part of the CTV advertising strategy. In-stream, pause video ads, QR code ads and more are just a few of the rich assortment offered by the CTV environment.

Although we presumably won’t see familiar in-store mobs sweeping goods off the shelves on Black Friday and in the run-up to Christmastime, online shopping seems to be a rush for both consumers and marketers. Intelligent marketers ready to enhance their omnichannel media strategies with CTV ads and armed with consumer behavior insights will undoubtedly reach their consumers and drive action effectively. 

Daniel Elad is chief strategy officer at TheViewPoint, a New York-based advertising technology company.