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This Week in TV News: Charlie Brown and “Die Hard”

This will be our final entry for 2018. Thanks for reading the TV news of the week with us – see you in 2019 with more news on streaming, entertainment, TV advertising, the latest data on media consumption and technology and features we’re reading. For now, enjoy more trends from 2018:

It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas. Well, not necessarily. But Apple now has the rights to the Peanuts brand and is rumored to be working on specials and animated shorts, exclusive to Apple TV. (Hollywood Reporter)

How Netflix gave CPR to rom-coms. Matt Brodlie and Ian Bricke, both directors of acquisitions at Netflix, did a Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter about their approach to finding good romantic comedies. From building fanbases to targeting demographics, the pair dives into their approach to finding the next “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Regarding targeting, what matters most is what you’ve watched before, Brodlie said. (Hollywood Reporter)

See 2018’s top-viewed ads on Youtube.  Nike ’s “Dream Crazy” featuring Colin Kaepernick, ranked fourth on YouTube’s annual ranking of ads, with 27 million views. Amazon’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” garnered 50 million YouTube views since its Super Bowl debut, getting the top spot. Second and third place went to YouTube Music’s “Open the World of Music. It’s All Here,” with 40 million views and Oppo F7’s “Real Support Makes Real Hero,” with 32 million views, respectively. (Wall Street Journal)

Roku’s top-searched Christmas movies. The Home Alone franchise took two of the top ten spots (No. 1 and 5), and “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “The Polar Express” made the list of popular holiday movies. “Die Hard” came in at No. 10, maybe settling the argument once-and-for-all of whether the first entry in the John McClane saga is or isn’t a Christmas film. (Cord Cutters News)

See last week’s TV recap.

Building to the Purchase Stage of the Customer Journey

A version of this post originally appeared in MediaVillage.

If you’ve ever been at the point where you’re very close to deciding to buy something but not quite there yet, you know how effective advertising can be.

Imagine for instance that you’re fed up with your telecom service and you’ve decided to switch. Ideally, during this time a telecom would run an ad during your favorite program. To entice you, the service might mention that anyone who comes to a store in the next three days will get a special deal.

Until recently, targeting to that one individual user wasn’t an option. Instead, a marketer would have to run local ads targeted at a suitable demographic, such as people between the ages of 18-49. For 99% or so of viewers, that ad might not communicate a relevant message. Thanks to addressable ads, that dynamic has changed: Marketers can use data to target people relevant to their product or service at the household level.

Behavioral data makes addressable advertising a great fit for nudging consumers who are in the purchase stage. For instance, it’s possible to isolate people who, based on their web searches, are in the later stages of buying a car. This allows marketers to have conversations with consumers who are one step away from purchasing. In a recent real-life example, a compact SUV maker targeted in-market auto intenders (households likely to buy or lease a compact SUV in the next six months) with an addressable ad campaign. The brand enjoyed a 5:1 ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and a 12% lift in buy rate compared to the control.

The one caveat about addressable is that the math has to make sense; CPMs are higher when targeting in a more granular fashion. A higher CPM may not make sense if you’re selling fast food. If that’s the case, a continuum or blend of media will bring down CPMs. Marketers should work out the math to understand the cost per acquisition against media spend.

Television indexing also makes sense in the buy stage – data science can help advertisers find correlations in content and consumer interests so that marketers can deliver specific messages to segments most likely to buy. If a telecom has a few service options, for instance, it could place a buy for people in the 18-49 demo for shows that tend to attract people who use a lot of cell phone data. If the data indicates that a particular TV show draws more viewers fitting that description, then the telecom might want to spend a bit more to advertise on that program. The advertiser can go beyond standard demo-based buying by layering data and reach customers relevant to its brand.

The purchase stage isn’t as linear as it once was. Some customer journeys take just a minute or two – an ad for pizza at 5 p.m. on a weeknight might prompt a call for pizza delivery – while something like priming a cell phone service buyer could take years.

While addressable TV advertising gives marketers a new tool in their arsenal, for most it’s the mix of broadcast, local and content indexing which they can constantly refresh with addressable that works best for them. Determining the exact mix, of course, will vary tremendously, but a close look at the data should lead marketers to a strategy that maximizes purchases, boosts return on ad spend and gets ads in front of the right consumers at the right time.

Read the intro to the customer journey series here.

See the previous stage, Preference, and check out the next stage of the journey, Advocacy.

This Week in TV News: ‘Today,’ Selena Quintanilla and Streaming

This week, we’re talking about Kathie Lee Gifford, frustrations while streaming and a new Netflix show about Selena.

Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving “Today.” Well, not quite today. She’s leaving her morning TV show next April. Gifford co-hosted the “Today” show with Hoda Kotb since 2008. (CNN)

Nielsen report shows adults spend 10+ hours daily with media. What’s more, adults between the ages of 50 and 64 spend more time per day on media than any other age group, and people 65 and older watch almost 7 hours of live and time-shifted TV daily. The latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen also found 45% of survey respondents use a digital device often or always while watching TV. (Hollywood Reporter)

Netflix is creating a scripted show about Selena. Netflix ordered a scripted series based on the life of Selena Quintanilla, singer of hits including “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “I Could Fall in Love.” The series, which doesn’t have a release date yet, will be executive produced by the Quintanilla family. (Vice)

Streaming TV on a phone is still frustrating. Penthera released its 2018 International Streaming Behavior Survey, finding that 88% of survey respondents experienced some level of frustration streaming video like buffering, annoying advertisements and increased monthly data costs. Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy were surveyed. (Penthera)

See last week’s TV recap.

Cultivating Preference in the Digital Age

[A version of this post originally appeared in MediaVillage.]

With the rise of digital media, advertisers seem to focus less on communicating to potential buyers during the middle stages of their journey – the education and consideration stages – and more on the awareness and purchase stages.

That hasn’t always been the case.  More advertising used to be focused on showcasing product attributes and differentiation, such as taking on “the other leading brand.”  This classic Volkswagen ad, for instance, notes that the Beetle got 25 miles per gallon, “a lot more than the average domestic car.”  Ads for Thomas’ English Muffins used to go on about its “nooks and crannies” and the fact that they were “fork-split” (whatever that meant).

These days, social media and ubiquitous internet access mean prospects can now research whatever they’re thinking of buying at a time of their choosing.  While most in-market shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, the majority of that research is not produced by the brand.

Enter TV advertising as an education and consideration tool.  Because people pay more attention to TV ads than any other type of advertising, running TV ads in the awareness stage is crucial in setting up the criteria for the buyer and connecting at an emotional level.  That emotional statement is especially important because it weeds out people who aren’t philosophically aligned with your brand.

What Consumers are Looking For

For the consumer, the preference stage is about doing homework, setting criteria and finding the product or service.  Think about the mindset of a consumer in the consideration phase.  By this time, he or she has already recognized a need or desire.  (“Time for new running shoes.”)  The thought process then leads to a search for information about shoes in a certain price range that is recommended for the person’s needs.  That leads them to make a list of options in the market.

The evaluation process isn’t as linear and logical as you might think.  Someone may research a certain brand of shoe and home in on a particular model, then loop back to researching brands.

Affinity plays a big role in the preference stage of the journey; that’s why TV advertising can be very effective at this stage.  By reaching an interested consumer in an immersive way with high quality messaging, advertisers can help create an emotional connection between a buyer and a brand that augments (and in some cases, supersedes) the features checklist they’ve made.

One reason for this is that consumers pay more attention to alternatives when they’re searching for alternatives.  This is a variation on the “observational selection bias” in which we buy a new car and suddenly notice that the same car is everywhere.  In hunting and gathering mode, we are more aware of alternatives.

But isn’t finding consumers in-market for your product only something digital media can do?  Not anymore.  Advanced TV, particularly household addressable, now can use the same datasets as digital media, enabling advertisers to reach consumers on the big screen in their home as they research and set their buying criteria.

When that targeting capability is combined with first- and third-party datasets, advertisers can layer on relevant data to personalize their campaigns by showing ads only to segments where specific, preference-forming messages will resonate.  Set-top-box data paired with behavioral, purchase and demographic data helps marketers target highly specific household audience segments.

The other reason TV is effective in the consideration stage is that TV advertising creates a trigger effect.  Sixty-eight percent of Millennials use a smartphone or laptop while they watch TV, according to eMarketer.  Google’s research shows two-thirds of smartphone owners use their phones to learn more about something they saw in a TV commercial.  If you’re thinking of buying new running shoes, then an ad for running shoes will get your attention, but one that focuses on a specific need (like your level of pronation) will really get your attention.

How This Looks in the Real World

Ideally, TV and digital messaging coalesce in this phase to move the consumer through the purchase journey.  If a consumer is searching for a new winter jacket, the advertiser could run banner ads for the jackets, then use addressable TV to target specific audience segments such as adventure seekers to show those households a spot demonstrating how the jacket performs best in an active lifestyle.  The sight, sound and motion of television, combined with smart messaging, would provide the consumer with the emotional statement and information to choose that brand over a competitor.

The upshot is that TV advertising is more adaptable than in the past.  Now, advertisers can find those consumers in-market for a product or service and reach them during the consideration phase.  That will move them to the ultimate goal, taking action.

See the intro to our customer journey series and our post on the awareness stage.

This Week in TV News: Ad Fraud, Award Show Season and ‘Friends’

This week, we’re looking at ad fraud during the holidays, “Friends,” upcoming award show hosts and the origin story of Gritty, the mascot that broke the internet.  

Ad fraudsters don’t take holiday breaks. According to Fraudlogix, the average percentage of fraudulent global programmatic ad traffic grew from 11.6% in October to 14.2% in November for all device types. The company’s data showed an increase in fraudulent ad traffic leading up to Thanksgiving and holiday shopping. (MediaPost)

The one with the Netflix deal. Netflix will continue licensing “Friends” from WarnerMedia through next year. The show hasn’t been on the air for fourteen years, but it still draws significant viewership. Syndicated reruns of the show draw 16 million viewers per week. (NYT)

Awards shows pick their hosts. Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg have been tapped to host the Golden Globes after presenting an award this year at the Primetime Emmy Awards. On Wednesday, Kevin Hart was announced as a show host for this year’s Oscars, but he stepped down from the role after an outcry over past controversial tweets came to light. (Variety)

The origins of Gritty. This isn’t a TV trend, per say, but the story of how and why the Philadelphia Flyers created their giant muppet mascot is a fascinating one, as told by Adweek. The Flyers spokesperson said the first month of Gritty coverage reached 70 million people on TV, with a local audience of more than 16 million people. The mascot garnered nearly 5 billion impressions online.

Read last week’s TV trends.

Cadent and Liberty Global Bring Data-Driven, Targeted TV to the UK

Today we’re proud to announce a long-term, strategic technology relationship with Liberty Global, which selected Cadent Advanced TV Platform to enable delivery of targeted ads to different households during the same program, on behalf of broadcasters and programmers.

John Paul, Managing Director of Advanced Advertising and Data, Liberty Global, said partnerships like these are critical. “It’s moving so fast, so Cadent for us is a very forward-thinking, almost like a leap frog type of partner.”

Our advanced advertising technology will support the management, execution, and reporting of addressable advertising campaigns in the UK across linear broadcast and VOD. In the UK, Liberty Global subsidiary Virgin Media will be the first to deploy using the platform.

Cadent’s cloud-based platform provides technical features and capabilities will provide:

Server-side ad insertion enabling rapid, “just-in-time” addressable campaign decisioning and execution, reducing the need for creative assets and business logic to physically reside on the STB;

– An extensible framework, with open APIs, that can support multiple workflows from current and future broadcasters and their advertising technology vendors;

– An operator-managed architecture designed to maintain key information and functionality within a secure network environment;

– Multiplatform TV advertising execution for content providers to manage reach, frequency and ad exposures across the Liberty Global footprint, encompassing household addressable, network DVR, IP live, and STB and IP video-on-demand (VOD); and

– Campaign management with normalized execution and reporting to determine ad efficacy based on unified data sets and analytics, and to support revenue share models between content owners and Liberty Global.

Addressable TV advertising offers granular targeting capabilities to the household or even device level, which dramatically increases the value of TV advertising. This kind of sophisticated targeting has attracted new advertisers to the medium and makes it a highly competitive alternative to digital advertising platforms.

There are also some privacy safeguards built into addressable TV advertising. Through Cadent Advanced TV Platform, an architecture controls and processes data without leaving the Liberty Global footprint. In short, Sky and Virgin protect the commercial integrity of their data while maintaining the highest level of privacy for consumers. It’s also a win for broadcasters, content owners, and advertisers delivering household addressable advertising to subscribers, who will receive a better, more relevant advertising experience.

With more than half of all TV viewing in the UK happening live, linear delivery needs to be enabled for addressability in order to offer marketers the scale of TV and data-driven targeting and attribution. Today, Liberty Global and Cadent have taken the first step in making this a reality for European marketers.

Liberty Global Selects Cadent to Deliver Addressable TV Ad Platform

NEW YORKDec. 4, 2018 — Cadent (www.cadent.tv), the leading platform provider for advanced and addressable TV advertising, today announced it has been selected to deliver an addressable TV advertising platform for Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company.

Cadent Advanced TV Platform will provide Liberty Global with an open advanced advertising framework capable of supporting multiple workflows from broadcasters and content providers. Cadent’s cloud-based platform will enable Liberty Global to deliver different targeted ads to households during the same program on behalf of broadcasters and content providers. The platform is designed to improve ad relevance and improve executional efficiency.

Liberty Global subsidiary Virgin Media in the UK will be the first to deploy the new platform. As announced last year, Sky is the first broadcaster to partner with Liberty Global on a joint addressable advertising initiative. Cadent’s platform has open APIs that can integrate with third-party advanced advertising systems – including Sky’s AdSmart platform – to deliver targeted advertising across Liberty Global’s footprint. Cadent have previously worked with Liberty Global to launch addressable advertising around video on demand content in the UK.

Addressable advertising delivers significant benefits to consumers given they see ads that are relevant to them for products that they’re more likely to be interested in purchasing. Meanwhile, addressable advertising also allows partners and advertisers to utilize targeting capabilities that have up to now been confined to digital advertising, with the significant advantage of the reach of major distribution platforms such as Virgin Media.

Leveraging the speed of Liberty Global’s advanced DOCSIS network and next-gen set-top boxes (STBs), Cadent’s cloud-based platform provides technical features and capabilities including:

  • Server-side ad insertion enabling rapid, “just-in-time” addressable campaign decisioning and execution, reducing the need for creative assets and business logic to physically reside on the STB.
  • An open API that can support multiple workflows from broadcasters and their partners as well as an architecture that controls and processes data without leaving the Liberty Global footprint.
  • Multiplatform TV advertising execution for content providers across the Liberty Global footprint, encompassing household addressable, network DVR, IP live, and STB and IP video-on-demand (VOD); with unified and normalized reporting that shows ad efficacy to bring value to both content owners and Liberty Global.

John Paul, Managing Director of Advanced Advertising and Data for Liberty Global, comments: “Liberty Global is focused on enabling advertising experiences that improve outcomes for both our content partners and customers. Not only does addressable TV enable today’s national brand advertisers to reach target audiences more effectively, it also enables first-time or more regionally focused businesses to benefit from TV in ways never before possible.”  

Nick Troiano, CEO of Cadent, adds: “Liberty Global continues to be at the forefront of innovation with advanced and addressable advertising. As the demand for both data-driven and brand-safe video advertising accelerates, we’re proud to be playing such a central role in helping Liberty Global serve their TV content owners, advertisers, and viewers. We’re also very excited to expand deeper into the European market after a long-history of success in the U.S. Cadent is committed to empowering the evolution of TV advertising with an extensible technology platform designed to manage the complexity of campaign management and execution.”

Cadent provides marketers, agencies, operators, and media owners with data-driven solutions for buying and selling TV advertising. Earlier this year, the company consolidated its brands: Cross MediaWorks, Cadent Network, Cadent Technology (formerly BlackArrow), and one2one media into a unified new brand – Cadent.

Additional information about Cadent can be found at: www.Cadent.tv. More information about Liberty Global is available at: www.LibertyGlobal.com.

About Liberty Global:

Liberty Global is the world’s largest international TV and broadband company, with operations in 10 European countries under the consumer brands Virgin Media, Unitymedia, Telenet and UPC. We invest in the infrastructure and digital platforms that empower our customers to make the most of the video, internet and communications revolution. Our substantial scale and commitment to innovation enable us to develop market-leading products delivered through next-generation networks that connect 21 million customers subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. We also serve over 6 million mobile subscribers and offer WiFi service through 12 million access points across our footprint. In addition, Liberty Global owns 50% of VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture in the Netherlands with 4 million customers subscribing to 10 million fixed-line and 5 million mobile services, as well as significant investments in ITV, All3Media, ITI Neovision, Casa Systems, LionsGate, the Formula E racing series and several regional sports networks.

About Cadent:

Cadent powers the evolution of TV brand advertising. Cadent provides marketers, agencies, operators, and media owners with data-driven solutions for buying and selling TV advertising. By connecting brands with national TV audiences across cable, broadcast and digital media, Cadent’s technology improves efficiencies and boosts the results of linear, addressable, and cross-screen campaigns. In the US, Cadent’s national platform provides access to 100 million households. For more information, visit www.cadent.tv or follow @CadentTV.