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  • CTV’s Measured Embrace of Programmatic Is a Long-Term Win for Advertisers

    Within today’s AI-drenched industry conversations, it would seem that a lot of channels are on an accelerated path to an automated future. In many cases, that means a rapid shift of inventory into data-targeted, biddable buying. However, as eager as many digital media buyers are to get their hands on more connected TV inventory, this channel stands apart from others when it comes to its comparatively metered pace in moving away from upfronts and direct-sold inventory.

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  • How Advertisers Can Realize the Promise of QR Codes

    (At the end of the article, watch a video interview with Lance Wolder and Will Richmond, Editor and Publisher of VideoNuze.)

    As the advertising industry shifts from traditional linear TV to streaming, interactive ads have emerged as a novel way to cut through the clutter, leveraging the powerful personalization capabilities of Connected TV. Notably, QR codes have been gaining attention as a tool to drive measurable actions in ads. However, despite the buzz, their real-world impact remains limited. This isn’t just a QR code dilemma; it's a clarion call for a strategic shift.

    Here's the thing: QR codes are known to all, yet scanned by few. The numbers don’t lie – while consumer awareness is through the roof, engagement rates have some catching up to do. It's a classic case of great potential, missed execution. Recent studies from Origin, LoopMe, and FlowCode shed light on the current state of QR code engagement. 95% of consumers are familiar with the concept of QR codes however a study from Brightline found a mere 0.02% of users scan QR codes in video ads. This begs the question: Why the disparity?

    Simply put: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

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  • Balancing the TradeOffs in Digital Advertising’s Black Box

    As a veteran ad executive once said, "Where there is mystery, there's margin."

    Since its 2021 introduction, Google’s PerformanceMax (PMax) has aimed to drive ad performance by modeling historical performance data using Artificial Intelligence models. As an automated ad product, it appeals to those who want to "set it and forget it." Sounds great, right? Well, maybe.

    Upon further inspection, the tradeoffs for the marketer emerge, particularly regarding transparency, autonomy, and brand suitability. Some recent findings from Adweek highlight this: Advertisers discovered that Google placed a significant portion of their PMax YouTube ads in the open web – not quite the premium placements they were expecting.

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  • The Titans of Streaming Are Going to Up-Level the Ad Opportunity for Everyone

    Our industry loves to talk about the “streaming wars” and speculate on which of the big names out there—Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Apple, and so on—will ultimately “win.” This speculation has reached a fever pitch recently as more players have moved into ad-supported models (and Netflix has started gaining important traction in this regard). But here’s the thing: We don’t need to crown a winner. There are plenty of victories to go around when it comes to the immense opportunity of advertising within premium streaming environments.

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  • PERSPECTIVE: 5 Mile Markers on the CTV Road Ahead

    CTV is garnering industry headlines and M&A attention right now, with many industry observers happy to declare that “the year of CTV” has already come and gone. But the reality is that we still have a long way to go to achieve the full potential of CTV for advertisers.
    For brands and agencies, the need to calibrate expectations, while still positioning themselves to unlock the tremendous potential of the CTV space, should be a top priority over the next 12 months. Here are five key areas where we still have a lot of work to do to integrate and elevate CTV to its proper place within the marketing mix.

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  • Performance in CTV Advertising is Complex; That Should Excite Us

    In 2022 we saw the biggest shift yet in what marketers want  (by which I mean “need”) from Connected TV (CTV). It should be no surprise that this shift happened. In addition to the ongoing decline of traditional TV, prevailing economic concerns and a stronger understanding by agencies and brands of CTV’s capabilities, the spotlight has been been forced to broaden from focusing on “checking the brand awareness box” to including measurable outcomes that make a more noticeable (and attributable) difference to a brand’s bottom line. In other words: performance.

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  • CTV Needs Real Measurement - and Ratings Are Just a Tiny Piece of It

    While not all that surprising in hindsight, a recent study uncovered a minor bombshell in CTV advertising: brands are throwing away more than $1 billion a year in advertising spend due to the fact that their commercials are playing on streaming platforms even while TVs are off.
    How is this possible? Viewers don’t always exit or pause the streaming app they’re using before hitting the power button on their TV; the shows (and the ads) are still running in the background. About 17% of ads on TVs connected through streaming devices are playing while the TV is off, and being delivered to no one at all.
    What makes this revelation all the more astonishing is the fact that today’s CTVs are digital and connected to the Internet, which is home to the most trackable, measurable media in our world’s history.
    Yet, while CTV brings a lot of promise to targeting a growing number of consumers, measuring what and when those individuals are watching is still too hard. For CTV to realize its full potential – and justify ad spend from brands – we need to treat it like a true Internet-connected medium. Let’s look at three steps the industry can take to move in the right direction.

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  • CTV Content Metadata and the Need for a Standardized Taxonomy

    As TV and digital advertising converge, it’s become even more evident how different the ways of buying and selling media are in each ecosystem. This reality has created some key challenges for both brands and media owners who seek to operate across platforms, and these challenges will only inhibit the free flow of money if they persist.

    Advertisers generally want to deliver targeted impressions across a mix of programming, irrespective of whether that content is delivered on a set-top box or an IP-connected device. However, each of these environments offer vastly different capabilities and operates on different protocols. The resulting asymmetry, as you might imagine, often leads to frustrations and hurdles.

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