News

Addressing the future of advertising with addressable TV

Sep 28, 2020

Harry Harcus, UK MD, Finecast

TV and viewers’ perceptions towards it are changing. It’s no longer just the big screen in the living room – it’s a much more dynamic medium that has the power to engage consumers anywhere. This changing perspective has created challenges for advertisers and brands, but to what extent wasn’t clear. To find out, Finecast undertook an extensive research project in partnership with DRG to understand what the new normal looks like and examine some of the new opportunities it creates for advertisers: Thinking Inside the Box.

Earlier this year we announced the first set of findings from the research based on ethnography sessions, surveys and workshops, which not only showed how consumers watch TV is changing, how they view advertising is evolving too. One in three stated they would be more likely to view TV ads if they were relevant to them. However, 52% said they find personalised ads intrusive. It’s clear a middle-ground needs to be identified, which is where addressable TV advertising can play a vital role.

To see just how much of a difference addressable can make, we also partnered with professors of cognitive neuroscience from UCL’s Department of Experimental Psychology to understand viewers’ behavioural and physiological reactions to addressable. The results were clear – people liked addressable ads almost four times more than non-addressable ads, and they also remembered them more accurately.

Of particular interest were the changes to heart rates. Measured via a biometric wearable device, the results showed that participants’ heart rates dropped further when watching addressable ads vs those that weren’t relevant to them. This is a sign that the participants were exhibiting greater external focus – much like we would a ‘heart-stopping moment’ – indicating they were more focused on ad content that was relevant to them.

It’s when the differences are broken down between different categories – Automotive, Gender, Family and Mobile – that the results become even more valuable to advertisers. The research shows people like the Automotive and Gender ads more if they were relevant to them. However, the Family category of ads, which had a broader range of brands, showed little difference between addressable and non-addressable ads. This demonstrates that making assumptions based on the data advertisers already have on consumers doesn’t always align with the viewer’s interests, and it’s therefore important to incorporate a range of factors and data to create a clear understanding of what will engage them.

While these findings clearly demonstrate the power of addressable TV advertising, what does the industry think? We spoke to 11 senior members of the advertising community to gauge their opinion of TV and addressable. They said that, while the medium is often seen as expensive there are huge opportunities, and addressable will help to open them up – not least for brands that wish to advertise on TV for the first time. Many also said they believe ads need to combine engaging creative with relevancy to make the perfect combination – a sentiment backed-up by the workshops which showed that 57% said that a creative TV ad is a great one.

From inception, the goal of Thinking Inside the Box has been to provide a resource for advertisers and brands that will help them understand the capabilities of TV and the power of addressable in the context of viewer expectations and perceptions of the medium. I’m delighted with the outcomes of this project and we look forward to revealing further insights in the coming months with some campaign studies we have been conducting to showcase the impact of addressable TV in real terms.  

Click here to read the full report.

Harry

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