Three Ways Technological Advances Are Powering More Effective TV Advertising

Corey Petruccelli
Corey Petruccelli, VP, national sales, New York Interconnect (Image credit: NY Interconnect)

TV has commanded advertising spend for decades because it allows brands to reach broad audiences with emotionally powerful messaging. Even as ad budgets have evolved to include digital channels, advertisers have continued to turn to TV for penetrating creative that sticks with the consumer, unlike an ad they scroll past in a second on social or search.

But with recent technological advances, the argument for TV advertising’s centrality to the media mix no longer hinges merely on its emotional resonance. Rather, TV is retaining its medium-specific power while gaining the measurement and targeting capacities of digital channels.

Here are three ways technological advances are powering more effective TV advertising, allowing brands to find cost-effective ways to reach premium audiences, cast a broad net while speaking to targeted segments and optimize their campaigns based on measurable results.

But with recent technological advances, the argument for TV advertising’s centrality to the media mix no longer hinges merely on its emotional resonance.

— Corey Petruccelli, NY Interconnect

1.) By finding cost-effective ways to reach premium audiences. Historically, TV advertising has been a platform to deliver large viewership across marquis programming. Today, we can harness more granular audience data, allowing advertisers to reach premium audiences across all devices in the home, in more cost-effective ways.

Consider the case of a brand that wants to reach viewers of March Madness. Ideally, this is where advertisers want to be. March Madness delivers a brand-safe, highly-engaged audience. However, running an ad during a high-profile college basketball game might be out of a brand’s budget. Utilizing audience data can now show that brand how to find those same audiences when they’re watching daytime local news or scheduled programming. With this data, advertisers can craft a campaign to reach virtually any viewer regardless of their budget. 

This approach became especially urgent during the pandemic, which halted sports and other live programming. Advertisers were able to leverage audience data to reach sports viewers while they were watching news or entertainment programming. This is just one example of how adaptations during tough times are shaping TV advertising for the long haul, challenging common wisdom and fostering approaches and options in addition to a broad, premium buy.

2) By matching surgical precision with broad reach. Those familiar with audience-based TV buying may assume that TV advertisers have a binary set of options: traditional, linear messaging that reaches broad audiences and audience-based approaches that target specific users across screens and programs while limiting overall reach. 

But sophisticated TV advertisers are now combining data sources, such as census, first-party, and set-top box information, to reach vast markets while honing in on the precise audience segments they’re reaching. This allows advertisers to determine whether their large-scale campaigns reached individuals in high-interest segments, allowing for maximum overall exposure while generating granular feedback.

For example, say an auto brand was launching a TV campaign to reach some 20 million audience members across the New York metro area. The brand might share its own CRM data with its agency, asking the agency to connect the dots between set top box data, census data, and first-party customer information to paint a holistic picture of who was exposed to the campaign and how it affected past and prospective customers. It can be done. This sort of collaboration across data sets is allowing for targeting and measurement previously unavailable to TV.

3.) By measuring, adapting and building audiences. Once advertisers establish whom a campaign reached, they can connect exposure to data providers to determine who took specific actions in response to it — whether that’s visiting a brand’s website or becoming a customer. 

This is not only helpful because it allows advertisers and their media and technology partners to determine whether a campaign was successful. It also allows for more precise targeting in the future, helping advertisers build out robust audiences to drive future campaigns on any platform.

These advances in audience targeting and measurement are becoming even more valuable as third-party cookies fade away and tracking across mobile apps gets more difficult due to changes by Google and Apple, respectively. In the future, TV won’t just be a smarter marketing channel; it will be an engine of marketing insights as a whole, helping to fill data gaps left by channels where Big Tech gatekeepers are sucking all the oxygen out of the room. 

TV is transforming into a highly targeted and measurable channel. Pair that with its long-standing emotional power and TV starts to look a lot like the future of targeted advertising. ■

Corey Petruccelli

Corey Petruccelli is vice president, national sales, at New York Interconnect, a joint venture of Altice USA, Charter Communications and Comcast. Connecting to more than 20 million consumers across more than 100-plus networks, NYI delivers advanced targeting solutions through its ground-breaking Audience One platform incorporating TV, digital, VOD, streaming, OTT and exclusive network sponsorships.