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07 Media Buying

Video 360°: TV + Digital Video Strategy

"Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another." - Albert Einstein

Video is Everywhere

Forget what you heard: TV is not dying, it’s evolving. In a new era of omnichannel “Video 360°,” this distinction is critical to developing digital video strategy that works in concert with TV media buying.

How can smart brands find engagement at scale, and capture video viewers across so many screened devices?

Only by fully embracing a digital video for this new era. Read on.

Defining “TV” In a Digital Age

First, let’s define terms.What is traditional TV vs. “digital video” or “programmatic TV”? From the lens of a brand-side paid media decision-maker, reach and engagement afforded by TV advertising can be achieved two ways:

  1. Traditional TV, which covers media built for broadcast, whether via terrestrial, cable, or satellite. While traditional, linear TV is buyable by demographic audiences, TV differs from digital media buying.
  2. Digital “Video” advertising has many names. As we define it, video covers content consumable via any connected device (TVs included!). A digital video strategy includes video ad investment purchased by audience using digital means: this includes addressable TV, “audience-based” TV, “over-the-top” (OTT) streaming TV, programmatic TV, TrueView, Instagram TV… or other digitally-purchaseable channels.

Traditional TV and Digital video strategy aren’t mutually exclusive. Each have pros and cons:

Video Killed the TV Star?

Digital video strategy promise advertisers trackability and deeper campaign performance data. 78% of people worldwide watch digital videos weekly – and 55% view online videos daily. Yet digital TV receives only 10% of total “TV” advertising allocations (est. $6.7 of $71.9 billion total TV ad spend in 2018).

Why? One reason is fragmentation. Another are profound differences in measurement and buying strategy from channel to channel. Consider just Facebook, Instagram, and Google’s YouTube.

And even digital videos’ audience-based targeting also brings its own challenges. Video’s granular targeting risks oversaturating smaller audiences. This is a common risk with first-party data targeting.

In general, digital video ad buying offers rich engagement and campaign performance data, yet tends to lack traditional TV’s affordable reach at scale.

What’s on, TV?

Traditional TV ad spend – terrestrial, cable, or satellite broadcast – still receives the majority of video-allocated ad dollars globally. Yet traditional TV viewership shrinks 5-9% year-over-year as TV audiences worldwide “cut the cord.”

Still,traditional TV targeting is far from irrelevant. In fact, TV media buying’s broad reach and reliable targeting is, arguably, irreplaceable. Even tech giants and digital startups spend more on TV advertising than digital video. If your goals are driving brand or product awareness, TV’s broad reach is irreplaceable. Digital video strategy might win for precise targeting at lower budgets, yet mass consideration and brand awareness goals demand a broader approach.

At the same time, TV networks are evolving to accommodate shifting demand while delivering the demographic guarantees and broad reach advertisers love. To shore up TV ad rates, many networks are decreasing the number of commercials available. Supply and demand dictates this will have 3 outcomes:

  1. Share of Voice: This move offers TV advertisers a greater share of voice (for a price);
  2. Consumer Benefits: Fewer ads may help coax viewers back to TV;
  3. Proof of effectiveness: As TV adds multi-touch attribution, fewer spots will likely improve TV’s lead in delivering strong ad recall.

A Bespoke Approach

The Law of Conservation of Energy states ‘Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another,’ the same holds true for TV. Demand for TV and video content is not diminishing –it’s simply changing form. Smart marketers know the most effective video media buying embraces an “agnostic” view of content across platforms.

For any modern brand, a digital video strategy is essential. And while digital video wins for precise targeting at lower budgets, provides rich engagement data, mass consideration and brand awareness goals may demand TV.

Strategy, at its best, should be audience-led. The same stands for video.

As an independent media buying agency, we carry no baggage of entrenched upfront commitments to “sell-through” to clients. Criterion Global delivers the best strategy for its clients. Multichannel approaches to video that pair the precision of digital video media buying, with TV’s reach and affordability at scale often leads to the best client outcomes.

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