The Drum @ Cannes Lions 2018: 'When it comes to TV and its future, getting the content right is critical,' says Diageo

TV audiences are fragmenting as viewers increasingly access content across different platforms. Consumption varies; from the traditional TV box to streaming on tablets and smartphones with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku and more recently in the UK, YouTube Premium. To some, this can come across as a messy situation.

Speaking at The Drum and the Innovid ‘The Future of TV is Now’ panel at Cannes Lions 2018, industry experts took a deep dive into how TV and video are moving into a golden age of content.

How people are watching

Diageo said one of the things it is focusing on is reach. Global digital innovation director, Benjamin Lickfett, said: “The ecosystem is incredibly complex. There are some things we need to get right, and we need to ensure that everything is seen by humans and not robots. Digital transformation is a lot about getting the basics right. Our vision is to be a lot smarter about connecting these different data points and have more contextual information."

But how do brands figure this out?

Companies like Innovid say they are focusing on the convergence of TV, premium full screen, non-scrollable viewership experience and digital, with the ability to extract all the metrics.

Chief technology officer and co-founder, Tal Chalozin of Innovid says there is less focus on issues such as fraud and viewability, just because by definition, TV is a significantly more superior platform. “Many people ask a lot of questions on how to connect the delivery into some type of purchase. With TV, you don't do comparative shopping, you don't Google, search or purchase on the device. In order to show attribution, you need to connect it to other devices. That's an area we are focusing on and a big focus that many advertisers are asking about.”

Personalizing the future

When you look at all the data that is being generated, personalization will play a big part, according to Lickfett. “If ads are going to be served that are more meaningful for consumers, where are we now and were is that going to go?"

For Diageo, it is also looking into location - the way people consume their products is driving that focus. So getting the content right is really important. “What we have done for brands like Guinness is put it through a social video delivery with personalized weather API's, time of day, kick off football matches etc. These have a lot of impact and the technology is scalable.”

Chalozin said that the term ‘personalized video’ is almost like saying colored TV. "It’s quite obvious that it’s in color, just like how it is obvious that you need to have data and personalize the ad."

He added: “If it wasn't personalized, it would be a bad experience. Personalization and what these technologies enable you to do is have generative content that is optimized in real time, which for video we have seen some great results in early trials.”

Pulling in the digital viewer

There is a lot of disruption in the 18-49 viewership category in the US added Roku’s head of international advertising, Jim Lombard. Viewership has dropped by 45% in the past four years. So how do you get in front of the new digital viewers?

“There are only limited ways you can do that,” Lombard explained. “There is a lot of disruption happening. The millions of dollars being bid against content, tech companies investing in original programming. It's going to create more choices and options."

Innovid recently released a study that found an increase in data-driven TV ad campaigns. The number of advertisers running data driven TV ad campaigns increased by 58% from a year ago.

Marketers are taking various forms of digital marketing that have never really been used at scale in TV marketing before and using them in national campaigns.

“We are bringing this into TV,” concluded Chalozin. “We've seen that it speaks volumes and to a lot of marketers, it’s not new. They have done this plenty of times on other platforms and they all believe that the big screen in the house is the best device in order to tell the sights and emotional stories. Bringing it all together just makes sense to everyone.”

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