4 Ways Programmatic CTV is Uniquely Suited to Improve Attention

2
at
2
minutes
Technical Level
February 23, 2022
2
minutes
Technical Level
February 23, 2022
Frank Maguire
VP, Insights & Strategy

Our latest research Understanding Consumer Behaviors During TV Commercial Breaks uncovered some of the reasons why 76% of TV watchers do not pay attention during commercials. Analysis of the results provides some clear opportunities for the CTV industry to listen and adapt to these consumer behaviors and focus on improving four aspects of TV ads: targeting, ad experiences, frequency capping and diversifying ads through lower cost commitments. Programmatic CTV specifically has the ability to improve on all four.

1. Better Targeting

According to the research, 71% of viewers are more likely to pay attention to TV ads if they are better targeted and more relevant to them. This feedback is not surprising considering linear TV targeting is traditionally not very personalized since it is mainly focused on demographic estimates, geography and show titles. CTV, however, specifically has a unique opportunity to improve attention through the myriad of targeting options available programmatically. 

Considering 85% of consumers are also open to sharing more data about themselves for fewer ads, the CTV ecosystem also has the opportunity to simply ask consumers for more granular information in exchange for fewer ads that are better targeted. Better targeted ads will deliver higher CPMs so content providers won’t lose out on revenue in the long run and ads will perform better because they are more relevant to consumers. This would additionally help with the 31% of consumers who don’t pay attention to ads because there are just too many ads. 

2. Improving the TV Ad Experience

The TV ad experience has not changed much in decades and people have learned to tune them out. Yet people are willing to offer their attention if they receive some benefit from it. Enhancements to TV ads could help improve attention and make them more relevant to consumers. For example, just launched CTV Dynamic QR Codes after our tests on consumers showed a 13% increase in attention when a TV ad has a QR code. We are in the process of testing other experiences that add additional value to the commercial break, like overlaid weather forecasts, to see how they impact consumer attention. Stay tuned for results from those studies.

With our new CTV Dynamic QR Codes, advertisers have the option to further customize the dynamic elements of the QR code for their CTV campaigns.

3. Frequency Capping

31% of respondents said the main reason they don’t pay attention to ads is because they are too repetitive. Frequency capping is particularly a known problem in connected TV that, if improved, would help diversify ads and make ads less repetitive. The main problem with frequency capping in CTV is due to poor communication of user IDs between the many different publishers, OTT providers, SSPs, DSPs, DMPs, etc. involved in the CTV supply chain. 

One way to improve communication is for the CTV space to agree on standards that allow for cleaner passing of signals related to frequency capping. That is exactly the type of problem the IAB TechLab was created to fix and their most recent RTB 2.6 spec is specifically looking to address improved frequency capping. The spec, which was co-written by our CPO Curt Larson, is currently open for public comment, which is key to getting the full supply chain to agree on standards. Read this post from the IAB for more information on how to add comments or email support@iabtechlab.com with your feedback.

4 - Improve the Diversification of Brands Advertising on TV

82% of people that find ads too repetitive said they would pay more attention if ads were more diversified instead of seeing the same big brands over and over again. In a similar way that self-serve platforms like Google and Facebook opened the door for smaller businesses to afford digital advertising, programmatic CTV opens the door to many smaller or at least mid-sized businesses to run and test TV ads that previously would not have the opportunity to reach the high spend commitments required by linear TV. 

It Takes A Village

We are committed to testing and finding ways to improve CTV ads that we can control on the Sharethrough exchange but it truly does take the whole ecosystem of publishers, tech providers and advertisers to listen and learn from the consumer experience and work together to improve the TV ad experience. We will continue to publish our research and product testing results for all to read. Enter your email on this page to receive alerts when these reports are published.

Our latest research Understanding Consumer Behaviors During TV Commercial Breaks uncovered some of the reasons why 76% of TV watchers do not pay attention during commercials. Analysis of the results provides some clear opportunities for the CTV industry to listen and adapt to these consumer behaviors and focus on improving four aspects of TV ads: targeting, ad experiences, frequency capping and diversifying ads through lower cost commitments. Programmatic CTV specifically has the ability to improve on all four.

1. Better Targeting

According to the research, 71% of viewers are more likely to pay attention to TV ads if they are better targeted and more relevant to them. This feedback is not surprising considering linear TV targeting is traditionally not very personalized since it is mainly focused on demographic estimates, geography and show titles. CTV, however, specifically has a unique opportunity to improve attention through the myriad of targeting options available programmatically. 

Considering 85% of consumers are also open to sharing more data about themselves for fewer ads, the CTV ecosystem also has the opportunity to simply ask consumers for more granular information in exchange for fewer ads that are better targeted. Better targeted ads will deliver higher CPMs so content providers won’t lose out on revenue in the long run and ads will perform better because they are more relevant to consumers. This would additionally help with the 31% of consumers who don’t pay attention to ads because there are just too many ads. 

2. Improving the TV Ad Experience

The TV ad experience has not changed much in decades and people have learned to tune them out. Yet people are willing to offer their attention if they receive some benefit from it. Enhancements to TV ads could help improve attention and make them more relevant to consumers. For example, just launched CTV Dynamic QR Codes after our tests on consumers showed a 13% increase in attention when a TV ad has a QR code. We are in the process of testing other experiences that add additional value to the commercial break, like overlaid weather forecasts, to see how they impact consumer attention. Stay tuned for results from those studies.

With our new CTV Dynamic QR Codes, advertisers have the option to further customize the dynamic elements of the QR code for their CTV campaigns.

3. Frequency Capping

31% of respondents said the main reason they don’t pay attention to ads is because they are too repetitive. Frequency capping is particularly a known problem in connected TV that, if improved, would help diversify ads and make ads less repetitive. The main problem with frequency capping in CTV is due to poor communication of user IDs between the many different publishers, OTT providers, SSPs, DSPs, DMPs, etc. involved in the CTV supply chain. 

One way to improve communication is for the CTV space to agree on standards that allow for cleaner passing of signals related to frequency capping. That is exactly the type of problem the IAB TechLab was created to fix and their most recent RTB 2.6 spec is specifically looking to address improved frequency capping. The spec, which was co-written by our CPO Curt Larson, is currently open for public comment, which is key to getting the full supply chain to agree on standards. Read this post from the IAB for more information on how to add comments or email support@iabtechlab.com with your feedback.

4 - Improve the Diversification of Brands Advertising on TV

82% of people that find ads too repetitive said they would pay more attention if ads were more diversified instead of seeing the same big brands over and over again. In a similar way that self-serve platforms like Google and Facebook opened the door for smaller businesses to afford digital advertising, programmatic CTV opens the door to many smaller or at least mid-sized businesses to run and test TV ads that previously would not have the opportunity to reach the high spend commitments required by linear TV. 

It Takes A Village

We are committed to testing and finding ways to improve CTV ads that we can control on the Sharethrough exchange but it truly does take the whole ecosystem of publishers, tech providers and advertisers to listen and learn from the consumer experience and work together to improve the TV ad experience. We will continue to publish our research and product testing results for all to read. Enter your email on this page to receive alerts when these reports are published.

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About Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech—

Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech is a short 3-minute podcast exploring the news in the digital advertising industry. Ad tech is a fast-growing industry with many updates happening daily. As it can be hard for most to keep up with the latest news, the Sharethrough team wanted to create an audio series compiling notable mentions each week.

Our latest research Understanding Consumer Behaviors During TV Commercial Breaks uncovered some of the reasons why 76% of TV watchers do not pay attention during commercials. Analysis of the results provides some clear opportunities for the CTV industry to listen and adapt to these consumer behaviors and focus on improving four aspects of TV ads: targeting, ad experiences, frequency capping and diversifying ads through lower cost commitments. Programmatic CTV specifically has the ability to improve on all four.

1. Better Targeting

According to the research, 71% of viewers are more likely to pay attention to TV ads if they are better targeted and more relevant to them. This feedback is not surprising considering linear TV targeting is traditionally not very personalized since it is mainly focused on demographic estimates, geography and show titles. CTV, however, specifically has a unique opportunity to improve attention through the myriad of targeting options available programmatically. 

Considering 85% of consumers are also open to sharing more data about themselves for fewer ads, the CTV ecosystem also has the opportunity to simply ask consumers for more granular information in exchange for fewer ads that are better targeted. Better targeted ads will deliver higher CPMs so content providers won’t lose out on revenue in the long run and ads will perform better because they are more relevant to consumers. This would additionally help with the 31% of consumers who don’t pay attention to ads because there are just too many ads. 

2. Improving the TV Ad Experience

The TV ad experience has not changed much in decades and people have learned to tune them out. Yet people are willing to offer their attention if they receive some benefit from it. Enhancements to TV ads could help improve attention and make them more relevant to consumers. For example, just launched CTV Dynamic QR Codes after our tests on consumers showed a 13% increase in attention when a TV ad has a QR code. We are in the process of testing other experiences that add additional value to the commercial break, like overlaid weather forecasts, to see how they impact consumer attention. Stay tuned for results from those studies.

With our new CTV Dynamic QR Codes, advertisers have the option to further customize the dynamic elements of the QR code for their CTV campaigns.

3. Frequency Capping

31% of respondents said the main reason they don’t pay attention to ads is because they are too repetitive. Frequency capping is particularly a known problem in connected TV that, if improved, would help diversify ads and make ads less repetitive. The main problem with frequency capping in CTV is due to poor communication of user IDs between the many different publishers, OTT providers, SSPs, DSPs, DMPs, etc. involved in the CTV supply chain. 

One way to improve communication is for the CTV space to agree on standards that allow for cleaner passing of signals related to frequency capping. That is exactly the type of problem the IAB TechLab was created to fix and their most recent RTB 2.6 spec is specifically looking to address improved frequency capping. The spec, which was co-written by our CPO Curt Larson, is currently open for public comment, which is key to getting the full supply chain to agree on standards. Read this post from the IAB for more information on how to add comments or email support@iabtechlab.com with your feedback.

4 - Improve the Diversification of Brands Advertising on TV

82% of people that find ads too repetitive said they would pay more attention if ads were more diversified instead of seeing the same big brands over and over again. In a similar way that self-serve platforms like Google and Facebook opened the door for smaller businesses to afford digital advertising, programmatic CTV opens the door to many smaller or at least mid-sized businesses to run and test TV ads that previously would not have the opportunity to reach the high spend commitments required by linear TV. 

It Takes A Village

We are committed to testing and finding ways to improve CTV ads that we can control on the Sharethrough exchange but it truly does take the whole ecosystem of publishers, tech providers and advertisers to listen and learn from the consumer experience and work together to improve the TV ad experience. We will continue to publish our research and product testing results for all to read. Enter your email on this page to receive alerts when these reports are published.

About Calibrate—

Founded in 2015, Calibrate is a yearly conference for new engineering managers hosted by seasoned engineering managers. The experience level of the speakers ranges from newcomers all the way through senior engineering leaders with over twenty years of experience in the field. Each speaker is greatly concerned about the craft of engineering management. Organized and hosted by Sharethrough, it was conducted yearly in September, from 2015-2019 in San Francisco, California.

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Frank Maguire
VP, Insights & Strategy

About the Author

Frank has spent over a decade at Sharethrough conducting research studies to better understand how humans respond to advertising and sharing strategies, insights and best practices that help brands and agencies adapt their unique advertising challenges to ever-evolving media consumption behaviors. He is a digital advertising industry veteran, beginning his career working for clients including Nestle, Pfizer and Wyndham on the agency side and then opening up and growing Sharethrough's East Coast headquarters in NYC.

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