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Class Is in Session: Why Brands Need TV Advertising in Their Back-to-School Media Plans

The back-to-school season is among the most significant shopping events for consumers and retailers alike, deemed the second largest annual spend behind the winter holiday season. 

In fact, as inflation continues to rise, 38% of consumers say they are cutting back in other areas of spending to cover the cost of items for the upcoming school year, according to the National Retail Federation. Many households expect to spend more per person on back-to-school items this year as a result of higher prices. 

Back-to-school spending has also increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic, further driving consumer value-seeking behaviors when it comes to back-to-school purchases. With that in mind, retail marketers should aim to be everywhere consumers are during the back-to-school season, beginning with TV.  

Price and Value are Key Drivers of Back-to-School Purchase Decisions 

8 in 10 Americans believe the current economic situation will have an impact on their back-to-school shopping budget, according to Dentsu Consumer Navigator. However, most are willing to sacrifice other areas of household spending to fund back-to-school purchases. Consumers consider back-to-school items as an essential category, and they are taking whatever steps they can in order to purchase what they need for the upcoming school year. 

This commodity approach is also leading consumers to make needs-based and price-based decisions. 82% say they are likely to buy generic store brands instead of name brands, 64% said discounts will greatly impact their decisions, and 50% do research online ahead of making back-to-school purchases. Consumers are not only cutting back on discretionary spending, but they are also looking for sales and buying more store- or off-brand items.  

Why Brands Should Leverage TV Buys for Back to School 

 When it comes to back-to-school, it’s imperative for advertisers to stay one step ahead of the competition – and including TV in your back-to-school media plans can help campaigns deliver.   

TV remains the most effective medium to reach a broad audience with brand messaging and drive results. Linear TV can drive awareness of deals or particular items offered for back-to-school – a necessity when more consumers are now considering generic brand alternatives. Addressable TV can be used to target viewers, in this case parents and children, with relevant promotions and offers at the household level. CTV helps drive incremental reach beyond linear, targeting cord cutters and light TV viewers. 

How TV Advertising Can Help Address Shifting Consumer Behaviors 

To prevent consumers from shopping for generic brands or competitors, it is crucial to highlight promotional offers. Advertising the availability of special pricing and discounts will also be especially important given that more consumers are keeping an eye out for sales events to make the most of their back-to-school budget. Implementing a competitive promotions strategy this season will likely provide bigger benefits to retailers than in years past.  

Advertisers should also keep in mind that children are heavily involved in purchasing decisions. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, brands should not only be seeking to reach parents, but find ways to engage the students as well.  

TV advertising campaigns are a proven way to combat shifting consumer behavior and minimize the impact of economic challenges. Cadent is a one-stop shop for data-driven TV advertising and takes a unified approach to simplify execution across a very complex TV marketplace. With Cadent, advertisers can effectively reach national audiences, leverage advanced audience targeting, and measure campaign performance.  

Find out how Cadent can support your brand’s back-to-school advertising initiatives. 

Cadent Partners with Tunnl to Launch Audiences for Advanced TV Advertising


Tunnl’s audiences, including political and issue advocacy segments, are now available in Cadent Aperture Platform across OTT/CTV, addressable TV, and indexed TV advertising

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, July 14, 2022 – Cadent, the largest independent platform for advanced TV advertising, is proud to announce a new partnership with Tunnl, a data intelligence platform that powers advertisers’ purpose-driven marketing, brand reputation, and issue advocacy campaigns. The partnership builds on Cadent’s current offering, Aperture Audience Data Marketplace, by bringing Tunnl audiences to Cadent’s customers.

Tunnl audiences are built from monthly, national, large-sample surveys paired with a proprietary data library based on 20+ years of intelligence. The granularity of Tunnl audiences allows for uniquely effective targeting across multiple verticals like “brand,” “political,” “public affairs,” and “corporate advocacy” within Cadent Aperture Audience Data Marketplace.

“As the TV ecosystem becomes increasingly fragmented and complex, marketers need solutions to reach their target audience across screens and devices,” said Eoin Townsend, Chief Product Officer at Cadent. “Through our partnership with Tunnl, we further our mission in helping brands engage the right consumers in a scalable, privacy-compliant manner.”

In addition to Aperture Audience Data Marketplace, Cadent Aperture Viewer Graph enables advertisers to reach Tunnl’s audiences across linear and OTT to drive incremental, deduplicated reach. Aperture Viewer Graph allows marketers to unify audiences across the TV ecosystem, empowering them to target their specific high-value audiences and measure outcomes using any third-party partner.

“This integration closely connects Cadent Aperture Platform users with Tunnl’s audiences at a time when OTT and CTV are increasingly important ways for advertisers to reach their buyers,” says Sara Fagen, Chief Executive Officer at Tunnl. “We see significant opportunity for advertisers to benefit from Tunnl’s partnership with Cadent as we continue to focus on connecting audiences with people’s TV viewership habits.”

Cadent’s partnership with Tunnl is a timely solution for advertisers combatting ever-increasing media fragmentation among their target markets. With Tunnl’s laser-focused audiences, advertisers—especially those in the political and issue advocacy realms—ensure their messages reach the right people, maximizing investment, impact, and results this year and beyond.

To learn more about Cadent’s next-generation data marketplace now featuring Tunnl audiences, contact Tony Yi, Cadent’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, at [email protected]. To connect directly with Tunnl and learn more about how you can leverage their audiences, email Amanda Peterson Beadle, Tunnl’s Senior Director of Partnerships, at [email protected]

About Tunnl

Tunnl is an audience identification and segmentation platform that empowers advertisers with the data needed to forge deep connections with their target markets. Based on intelligence from monthly, national, large-sample surveys and a proprietary data library amassed over 20+ years, Tunnl enables advertisers to find the right audiences to engage with and activate against their purpose-driven marketing, issue advocacy, and brand reputation campaigns. For more information, visit www.TunnlData.com.

Blockgraph is a technology company that makes the future of data-driven TV advertising possible. The world’s leading media, technology, and information services companies collaborate with trusted partners using Blockgraph’s Identity Operating System (IDoS) to create and implement privacy-focused targeting and measurement solutions. Blockgraph is owned by Charter Communications Inc., Comcast NBCUniversal, and Paramount. For more information, please visit Blockgraph at www.blockgraph.co.

About Cadent

Cadent powers the evolution of TV brand advertising. We provide marketers, agencies, operators, and media owners with data-driven solutions for buying and selling TV advertising. By connecting brands with opportunities across national inventory sources—cable, broadcast, and OTT—our technology improves efficiencies and boosts the results of linear, addressable, and cross-screen campaigns. For more information, visit cadent.tv or follow @CadentTV.

Media Contacts:

Daddi Brand Communications
Hollis Guerra
[email protected]