Connected TV consumers demand new advertising approaches

Michelle Clancy | 07-03-2014

Once connected TVs enter the home, they infiltrate multiple viewing rooms, and group members, regardless of age, are rarely limited to one connected TV or device, according to research from YuMe.

As a result, the advertising platform provider discovered, monetisation advertising approaches need to evolve as well.

"I have a smart TV, a PS3, a couple of Macs and whatnot. I have tablets; I have some PS3 games. I have an Apple TV as well," said one study participant, illustrating the platform fragmentation that's becoming increasingly common within households.

That means that brands can shift their strategies to appeal to customers' control and personalisation of the viewing experience.

"CTV consumers are driven by the choice and control that these TV arrangements bring to their home viewing options," said Maryann Baldwin, vice president of Magid Media Futures at Frank N Magid Associates, which supported the research. "You can also hear how choice and control in CTV advertising is also a priority for them. They are moving rapidly along a learning and expectation curve that advertisers are wise to keep tabs on."

Key observations from consumers show their low tolerance for interruption and the desire to be shown relevant calls-to-action, rather than something completely unrelated to the viewing content. The latter, of course, has been the MO for linear television for decades.

"You've got to remember we are watching TV first of all, so we don't want to veer all off and go up a mountain, we still want to watch TV," says a study participant (age 18-39, heavy CTV viewer).

For advertisers, best practices (created from watching real consumers interact with connected device creative during the study) include capturing attention with animation, keeping interactions simple and relevant and using video to drive engagement.

"With any new platform, the temptation as a marketer is to make comparisons to things we're familiar with and know how to address," said Christine Dilandro, senior vice president and head of media and integrated marketing at Citi, a brand participant in the study. "But often, those new platforms don't fit neatly into existing categories; they bring a unique set of capabilities and consumer expectations. CTV is a perfect illustration of that point it isn't TV plus PC or TV plus mobile it's something different that begs for a different marketing approach. As a result of this study, we've got more clarity on how to execute successful programmes on CTV."

The key is for brands to be open-minded in terms of how they approach connected audiences. "We always look to find new ways to engage consumers with our brand and provide engaging content for them," said Mark Brooks, global business director of the Truvia brand, a stevia sweetener brand in the US. "Understanding how receptive consumers were to our creative and linking to Truvia recipes are good learnings as we explore new technologies to reach consumers."