There were seven big takeaways from Future of TV Advertising Global, the world’s No.1 thought-leadership event for TV advertising strategy and technology. They are: Television is back on the offensive; It’s not a question of if you follow the 60:40 rule, just how you implement it; Addressable TV is coming fast, complementing rather than replacing ‘national’ ads; Unification of broadcast and digital is everything; TV is an activation medium, which makes it a uniquely full-funnel offering; The real magic is data-driven, audience-based buying; Yes, agencies do have a future.
Future of TV Global has it all – top-level marketing theory, implementation strategy and the ad-tech details. This two-day knowledge-hit includes Les Binet discussing brand and activation budgeting in the digital age and adidas revealing why it is reducing the use of short-term metrics. The London conference explores the emerging market for non-broadcaster ad-supported streaming, TV as an activation medium, and how TV can better serve digital-first brands. Theories about how brands grow are tested, and there are sessions dedicated to addressable TV in Europe and the power of broadcast industry collaboration.
Buyer sentiment, taken as an average, is far more positive towards television than it was even two years ago in Canada. There is an acknowledgement that TV works, including for short-term objectives, though a need to prove it more effectively. Media owner innovation is happening, but slowly. There are concerns locally about price inflation and price transparency.
The widely deployed 1.5 version of the HbbTV specification supports full replacement of broadcast ads with IP-delivered ads, but cannot guarantee frame accuracy. Workarounds have been suggested like inserting a broadcaster ident at each end of the ad break to give televisions and STBs more switching time. The 2.0.1 HbbTV spec introduces better synchronisation and pre-buffering, and work is ongoing to accelerate switching times. Device support, consistency and minimum standards remain an issue. The roadmap to HbbTV addressable is established, but there are notable hurdles to overcome.
HbbTV gives broadcasters the means to test-and-learn addressable TV independently of Pay TV operators
RTL Group is among the most advanced users of HbbTV for advertising in Europe and is developing its addressable TV know-how and sales products for the broadcast marketplace without yet relying on Pay TV collaborations. When it comes to full ad replacement, HbbTV is limited by the penetration of devices that support the latest specs, however, as only these can guarantee full frame accuracy. Right now, ad-replacement using HbbTV is best described as a test-and-learn initiative.
Video Research, the Japanese audience measurement body responsible for running the country’s television industry currency, is behind a collaborative platform that measures broadcaster online viewing data at census level. Video analytics specialist Streamhub has provided the data platform to handle programme and advertising viewing data and fuse the census reports with an existing online audience panel. The new platform underpins trading of online inventory across all major commercial broadcasters.
OpenAP multi-broadcaster audience-buying platform will soon include digital as well as broadcast linear
The US collaboration between FOX, NBCUniversal, Viacom, and Univision makes it easier for advertisers to conduct audience-based buying at scale, thanks to the use of common audience segments and a central planning solution. From the autumn, the platform will include digital video as well, and so help to break down the barriers between broadcast and streaming video.
The media buyer warns about hype around distributed ledger technology but urges its clients to test, learn and prepare for its use. The company sees opportunities around programmatic, maximising your working media and GDPR compliance, among other things. GroupM itself is exploring a fully-fledged blockchain pilot covering multiple application areas but starting with smart contracting, billing and reconciliation.
The addressable TV advertising solution Sky developed in the UK will be deployed in the USA. Meanwhile, NBCU’s solution for optimised linear buying and its work to use AI to improve the contextual placement of ads near programming scenes will be applied in the UK. The ambition is to create a global solution for advanced premium video advertising. AdSmart will enable international brands and businesses to easily activate targeting and optimisation solutions to reach customers around the world.
Future of Brands Sydney provoked a frank debate about whether the agency model is broken. The best agencies may be clean but are still impacted by the transparency sins of others. There is still a trust problem. Remuneration models leave media services a target for procurement. There are plenty of things to fix, but there is no one-size-fits-all model to break: agile agencies have evolved and can find opportunities even in in-housing.