U.S. Upfronts – great outlook!

  • Advertisers will increase their upfront spending by 7.6% this year to nearly $19.9 billion.
  • As Modus Direct participated in the Network Upfronts last week, there were some key takeaways.
    • PRIMETIME IS ANYTIME. More focus this year on the network portfolios than primetime programming – head of sales for WarnerMedia stating “IP is the new Primetime”
    • DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. All major networks focused on the importance of diverse casts, storytellers, producers as well as all inclusive themes in programming. We are seeing this as a theme across client creative as well.
    • Media companies are no longer in the business of selling TV commercials. They are in the audience delivery business.
      • 91.6 million people watched the Super Bowl on CBS linear while only 5.7 million streamed.
      • Linear provides audience delivery volume at a lower cost. CTV/OTT offers unparalleled targeting at a higher cost. Combined they provide optimal reach and ROI.

Accelerate Your Creative Learning

  • Moving quickly on creative testing is critical to maximize ROI.
  • Modus methodically tests creative knowing the difference in performance on 1 creative compared to another can be well over 300%.
  • Changes in creative could be small items such as Music, Voice Over, Offer, Call to Action, Colors, End Cards, other variables or completely new executions.
  • IBM’s Watson Advertising Accelerator provides creative/visual insights to drive the highest engagement for a given audience
  • Anticipation: Predicts the creative elements to drive engagement
  • Segmentation: Discovers new audience segments based on message resonance to help expand a message to untapped audiences.
  • Revelation: Analyzes each campaign from a creative and audience perspective, extracting insights on the highest and lowest performing experiences.
  • Accelerator analyzes cookieless data signals to predict and subsequently assemble a customized video creative for each impression based on the likelihood of a consumer converting against a KPI.
  • The growth of OTT/CTV is accelerating faster than originally projected. It is imperative brands adopt tools that allow them to make quicker, more accurate decisions to maximize ROI.

Source: IBM Watson Advertising Accelerator Expands to Bring AI to Fast-Growing OTT Media and Streaming Landscape | Nasdaq

Expand Linear TV Reach and Targeting

OTT / CTV can efficiently expand your campaign television reach. We always recommend a balanced scorecard while allowing the performance to inform the spend distribution.

  • Inform consumer and network targets
    • We have utilized OTT/CTV to inform larger Hispanic targeting initiatives leading to linear TV network additions to include Hispanic targeted networks.
    • Some networks are more risky to test in a traditional linear environment (such as HGTV or Discovery Prime) but may produce the best results via OTT/CTV. This learning allows us to add networks to linear plans with more confidence and less risk for our clients.

The Media Tipping Point

  • 78 million U.S. households maintained a cable subscription at the start of 2021. At the same time, advertisers could reach more than 84 million households via connected, streaming TV services for the first timeAnd, according to The Trade Desk, and all of us in this business – this trend is not likely to reverse.
  • OTT / CTV outpaced all other media in 2020 (which is not a surprise to anyone) and the projected cord cutting for 35+ in 2021 is something that can not be ignored.
  • That being said, campaigns targeting 65+ DTC products and services outperformed linear TV in some cases. This is a huge finding for companies targeting 65+ and should be a strong consideration to augment the linear workhorse.
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