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Does TV finally allow brands to connect brand and performance messaging?

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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

January 9, 2023 | 5 min read

Top broadcasters are claiming that the barriers between brand and performance marketing in TV have finally been broken down. Here’s what you need to know about the trend.

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Brand and performance marketing to converge / Adobe Stock

The notion that marketers need to choose between running a brand or performance TV campaign is outdated, according to broadcasters including Comcast and Sky. Now, they say, advertisers can activate both tactics as a result of technological advancement.

TV advertising has traditionally been the preserve of brand marketers while online was for performance marketing, but those two worlds are inching closer together with the acceleration of CTV and the digitization of TV.

Comcast Advertising’s president James Rooke goes so far as to say the walls that separate both will “collapse” entirely in the coming years.

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The first reason is that many direct-to-consumer brands that built success through digital marketing invested in TV as they matured and came with the same demands for TV. Secondly, most viewers watch TV with another device in hand and can easily search for an advertiser directly after watching an ad or answer a call to action. And finally, improvements in targeting capabilities have led to better measurement, with TV getting better at showing that its performance creative works, as well as getting better at delivering addressable media personalized by household.

Lucy Bristowe, director of insight and research at Sky Media, says she’s seeing “unprecedented levels of demand for measurement” and that brands are more than ever demanding measurement as a prerequisite to investment.

Research from the broadcaster reveals that brand marketing is driving a 38% increase in traffic to sites within the first seven days while also doing its primary job of driving a 54% increase in ad recall.

On top of this, 80% of web visits typically happen in the two to seven days after a viewer sees an ad, but traditional attribution measurement looks at actions taken in the hours or the first day after seeing it. This means that traditional methods of measurement that track responses the day an ad is seen only capture around 20% of those web visits. Bristowe tells The Drum that this is “massively underestimating and misrepresenting the true impact of their TV advertising and often incorrectly attributes other platforms, making them look better than they are”.

Additionally, according to Comcast’s Rooke, media companies such as his need to “demonstrate” the power of brand advertising and its “halo effect into a purchase”. “We know that bottom-of-funnel performance marketing has been taking a huge amount of credit for delivery of results that has been driven from the top,“ he says. Since the impact of brand marketing isn’t always tangible to marketers, it is “absolutely critical” to show the “connecting tissue” that drives a purchase.

“I’m not going to say move your money out of performance marketing – that is a flawed statement. But the intelligent relationship that brand and performance have to have and how they complement each other is key. So how do you take the language of performance marketing that speaks in CPA [cost per acquisition] and use a dictionary to translate that into the language of CPM? It’s like a French-to-English translation.”

How to blend brand and performance

Graeme Lynch, who is the EMEA vice-president of demand at Magnite, says CTV has enabled marketers to use new strategies that connect the two marketing approaches. To put this into practice, he advises advertisers to use “sequential messaging, whereby a brand ad is delivered to a viewer followed by a performance message to move the consumer along the marketing funnel”.

He says real-time insights will also allow brands to connect their brand and performance messaging to ensure consumers see the right ad at the right time. “The digital nature of CTV enables marketers to more effectively use data to help determine the correct ad messaging for a specific user,” as is applied in digital marketing, he says.

Wayne Butler, head of media effectiveness at Sky Media, adds: “Brand messaging with some form of a call to action – which can take the form of a reference to a website – changes the shape of the response but does not change the overall campaign impact but accelerates response.”

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