Digital Remedy, a specialist digital media planning and buying agency with three US and three Asian offices, anticipates increased activity in the OTT space as more premium streaming video inventory is opened up for advertising. That is good news for a company that has been looking to steer clients away from under-performing online video and from what David Zapletal, EVP of Media Buying and Optimisation at Digital Remedy calls ‘bad actors’ in the digital space.
Zapletal says many advertisers are not aware of the winning combination of quality context and rich data that streaming video provides. “Some people do not understand that in the OTT environment you still have device IDs, cookies and IP addresses [as with other parts of digital]. Even with some major advertisers, we have had to explain what you can do, in terms of harnessing data, when using connected TV.”
Digital Remedy is focused on helping advertisers, but also agencies who need some digital help. Alongside brand safety, one of the first things the company emphasises is ROI (return on investment against advertising) and the need to turn down the half-price online video bargains that are too good to be true. The agency advice is to stick with quality publishers who may cost more but deliver value for money.
A surprising amount of the digital video buying performed by Digital Remedy today is based around context, in the sense that the company seeks out apps, channels and shows as a proxy for audiences and quality in much the same way that linear TV is planned. “We have seen advertisers starting to request that they are placed into certain shows,” Zapletal reveals.
In some instances, advertisers are trying to replicate their linear TV planning in the streaming world. This is a manual process and Zapletal views it as an interim stage while advertisers become more data savvy. After that we will see more of the pure audience-based buying where planners know, with greater precision, the type of person they want to reach and can find them across any video offering.
Even then, context will still matter. “The pillar for good ROI is audience-based buying bundled with selective inventory,” Zapletal says.
He believes that if you take out the ‘bad actors’ in digital video you can achieve a positive ROI on advertising within streaming inventory without adding context safeguards. But if you are fussy, you can do better – and remove the risk of a brand being devalued.
Zapletal is a strong believer that viewability impacts ROI, especially if you are looking for online conversions (e.g. to website visits or sales) after someone has viewed an ad. Thus, without too much rocket science, you can improve the ROI potential for online video advertising through what Digital Remedy regards as best practice planning.