a person holding a remote control

Old Meets New - How television Ads and Digital Ads Are Meeting in the Middle

By Douglas Eldridge

Do you remember watching Saturday morning cartoons? When I was young, I remember waking up early to watch cartoons, but as I got older, Saturdays were a day to sleep in. I think most people of a certain age would remember TGIF and even more would remember Thursday nights on NBC, which even the Simpsons couldn't compete with. Monday Night Football was a major weekly event and Sundays during the fall were pretty much dedicated to football. In other words, TV was bigger than something to watch: TV was something we set our clocks and calendars to.

A television was often the focal point of the main family room, a place that a family would converge and be together. As time has passed, television has become just another medium for content. The family room might still be dominated by a massive rectangular television, but it's no longer the focal point that it used to be. The difference in the last 20 years in how we ingest programming is almost as stark as the difference from when radios were the primary source of content before television took over.

Society changes in parallel with technology. To an extent, they both shape each other, and advertising practices have followed suit with these changes. In the past, advertisers counted on audiences being seated in front of the television at certain times of the day. Now advertisers use an array of devices to deliver on content that is on-demand - available whenever and wherever the consumer chooses. With this evolution, society has decided on a new value exchange with their consumable content. According to research, in lieu of watching ads, consumers are now willing to trade the ability to watch free content. This is exactly the model that allowed for inexpensive television in the old model. Consumers now prefer targeted ads rather than ads for products that aren't relevant to them.

Of course, the television audience is still relevant, and advertisers will continue to utilize this medium. However, television ads should now be considered as part of a dynamic ad strategy that reaches the right audience across multiple devices, instead of the former static-ads we have seen in the past. With this new strategy, marketing spend can be attributed down to the penny.

The new advertiser - the consumer relationship - seems to be working. The Trade Desk surveyed companies that had both linear and digitally connected strategies. 95% of those companies reportedly hit their KPIs last year.

Because of the shift in consumer behavior, the marketing agency has and should continue to evolve into more than the creative element. Marketing teams have always relied on data, but now they have the power to act on data in real-time. While traditional advertisers should still be utilized to create compelling ad copy, a new breed of data scientists are now necessary to put campaigns in action. According to the same research by The Trade Desk, 37% of companies are planning to hire talent specifically for CTV, "to bolster the linear TV competencies already in play". Advertisers are on board with this approach, but it's a skillset that is hard to come by.

While we can't bring the television back to the center of attention in a household, we can reach the right person at the right time in any given household. Learn more about how SilverBack Advertising's Data Fusion platform allows you to connect with your audience across devices without the hassle of hiring new talent.