Connected TV: Unleashing creativity

Nev Hasan
By Nev Hasan | 8 December 2020
Nev Hasan

Nev Hasan is executive director of agency sales at Foxtel Media and a member of the board of ThinkPremiumDigital.

Connected TV will soon evolve from an extension to the core of the most effective video advertising campaigns and Nev Hasan says it’s time to think beyond the 30 second TVC.

According to McKinsey the past six months have seen corporations across the world accelerate digital transformation by several years, as consumers go online and restrictions change the face of commerce.

Media companies have seen increasing demand in this new reality with record audiences turning to news and factual programming for vital updates, entertainment and movies for escapism, and sport as a first step on the return to normality. Brands are also recognising this with TV advertising experiencing increasing demand as we head towards Christmas.

But if we’ve learnt anything over the course of 2020, it’s that we must be ready for change, and be ready for it to happen quickly. As the trend of digitisation accelerates, we’re seeing an evolution in how people connect with media, and how advertisers engage with consumers. At the heart of this is connected TV.

The ongoing streaming wars and the COVID-19 lockdown have contributed to the rise in connected TV usage. According to IAS research conducted in August, 83% of consumers have access to a connected TV device, with 78% increasing consumption of streaming content and 49% signing up for a new service during the course of the year.

Connected TV’s larger screens and the ability for people to watch comfortably together offers richer and more engaging video experience than smaller screen streaming competitors. So, it’s perhaps unsurprising that it is Australia’s favourite video streaming tool, which, according to IAS, is used by 70% of viewers compared to 57% for mobile and 55% for desktop or laptop computers. The recent update to OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement (VPM) reporting to include co-viewing on connected TVs supports this with a marked viewing increase as families and friends gather around their connected TVs.

The functionality of these devices means vastly expanded opportunities for advertising – and for creatives to meld the best of the digital and the TV experience.

Take, for example, the Samsung Connected TV on-device advertising environment, a product offered by Foxtel Media. The Samsung Connected TV experience offers a unique and highly engaging platform for advertisers to deliver an experience to viewers as part of the brand’s Smart TV interface.

Initially, this was rolled out with entertainment brand advertisers like AppleTV, SBS and Paramount, to test and learn how viewers would react to the advertising. But, over the second half of the year, we’ve seen brands such as Audi, CBA, Nike, BP, and Mars roll out campaigns on the platform. With advertising spend up five times this year, creative is still only scratching the surface of what can be done.

Connected TV offers brands the ability to integrate both brand and sales into the advertising experience. From live links that bring the viewer from the creative to more information, or even an “order now” button, the opportunities are endless.

What is most exciting about connected TV is the range of options it offers for creativity and innovation. From pre- and mid-rolls, to six-second ads, screen takeovers and enhanced integrations, there are myriad ways for advertisers to elevate the 30 second TVC to something even more powerful. It’s already happening, in the execution of connected TV landing pages with bespoke rich and engaging content. In future, the integration of direct-to-sale options through connected TV will help bridge the gap between the TVC and direct lead and sales generation.

The next five years are going to be a tremendously exciting and transformative period for media and advertising. Connected TV will be at the centre of this. It holds the potential to connect the dots between serving the right ads to the right people and the right time, in a rich digital environment and represents the future of where advertising can take us. Now, all we need to do is embrace the creativity to re-imagine what is possible.