It’s the era of CTV, and publishers and platforms have a unique opportunity to evolve the consumer experience and create exciting new formats. According to eMarketer, Upfront CTV ad spending will grow by 34.6% to $6.41 billion this year. However, with that growth advertisers are faced with new challenges to get the most of their ad spend. Now, more than ever, consumer attention and engagement is incredibly more valuable.
As Lauri Baker, SVP of Partnerships at Infillion and moderator of this panel, put it, “The consumer is the one who’s going to shape the future of advertising, not the industry. Are we, as an industry, prepared to lead a customer-first media experience?”
Here’s what leaders from Innovid, PepsiCo, Vizio Ads and Xandr had to say about the future of engagement and creative advertising.
Innovid – Creating Seamless Ad Experiences Through Technology & Collaboration
Jessica Hogue, General Manager of Measurement and Industries, introduced Innovid as an omnichannel platform that creates a better consumer experience for advertising using technology, with one of their goals to personalize the ad experience as much as possible seamlessly.
Whether it’s dealing with friction in the ad business model or creating engaging ad experiences, Jessica looked to technology and collaboration as the key to innovation. Technology is moving, keeping pace with consumer demands, allowing brands, agencies and platforms to move quickly. For example, car dealerships had to change messaging during Covid, from promoting vehicles in their lots to branding-focused messages. Grocery also made a pivot due to Covid by adding curbside pickup. “I think we’ve got some progress left ahead of us, but [there’s been a lot that] we’ve seen [a lot of] creativity and technology come together,” Jessica said.
Jessica also raised the need for collaboration between all the stakeholders and partners of the ad business—especially early on. One area where early collaboration can be a solution is with repetitive ads. Innovid found that while a small portion of households receive the same message over and over again from the same brand, consumers using certain types of platforms, particularly streaming, are more likely to have that experience. When agencies, brands and platforms’ improve their targeting strategies the better ad experience they’ll be able to offer and avoid duplication.
PepsiCo – Exploring and Innovating Audience Engagement
Kate Brady, who leads global media innovation and partnership development at PepsiCo, made it clear that the multinational food and beverage company is taking ad engagement pretty seriously. As she put it, “We’re uber-focused on engagement and…we’re looking for new ways we can find our audience in those moments of engagement.” One part of the innovation program at PepsiCo is to find partners and understand moments where the brand can connect with consumers in meaningful ways.
One problem that Kate touched upon was how difficult it is to garner attention, especially with consumer habits like skipping through ads. Attention as a measurement is something PepsiCo has been leaning into more than ever despite challenges, but they’re not limiting themselves to attention. “We’re absolutely looking to explore what are the new measures that we need to look at,” Kate said.
Where will those explorations take PepsiCo? Who can say for sure, but they are excited about the future of what Web3 can do to drive innovation for this prolific advertiser.
VIZIOAds – Going a Step Further into Engagement
For VIZIO and VIZIO Ads, everything they do is consumer-first, according to Allison Clarke, Head of Client Development at VIZIO Ads. Being consumer-first means VIZIO is very careful about how they message to the consumer on their home screen.
When it comes to the future and innovation, it’s about the intersection of different tools and technology. Not only do they have the VIZIO TVs, the company goes a step further in engaging with consumers with their app (WatchFree+) and going even further by developing the VIZIO wallet. With this cross-platform engagement, it makes it easier for consumers to go from simply watching to engaging into a transaction.
For Allison, this innovation in technology and creativity is a shared responsibility for brands, agencies and platforms. “I think there are innovations that a technology platform or company can bring to market that can be specific to an advertiser,” Allison said. “We’ve seen, yet again, a double-digit increase in the number of marketers leveraging dynamic creative on their campaign and so this is absolutely happening. And then we see engagement goes up.”
Xandr – Engagement Beyond QR Codes
Alex Chatfield, Vice President of Marketplace Development at Xandr, is looking forward to the future and its possibilities. Xandr is the advertising and analytics subsidiary of Microsoft and a global marketplace that powers premium advertising.
When it comes to engagement, Alex is looking towards the future and what’s to come. Like Jessica, he also noticed an interesting change come from the pandemic: QR codes. Before the pandemic, there was a resistance to QR code adoption, but now most of us have used them, including generations that probably never used a QR code before. “Now you have consumers that are actually able to engage with interactive creative through a QR code, so that’s exciting and that’s cool,” he shared during the panel.
But there’s a different kind of engagement Alex is envisioning for the future. “The more interesting engagement type that’s coming would be voice,” Alex said. Voice technology for TV has come a long way and you can already “talk” to your TV, but imagine engaging with an ad on your TV with just your voice, leaving behind remote controls or apps.
One obvious takeaway from these advertising and streaming leaders: If you’re looking for a silver bullet for success moving forward, look no further than consumer engagement. It’s not enough to measure just impressions now. Brands and agencies that want to be innovative and future-ready should be taking engagement seriously, or risk being left behind in the future.
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