The impact of TV-digital ad synchronization, where marketers expose consumers to digital advertising like social, display and online video ads on their handhelds and laptops at the same time that they see the same advertisement on linear TV, is being proven in the field. A number of case studies were outlined during a recent Videonet webcast showing how simultaneous exposure to the same or complementary messages on television and online boosted click-through rates for the digital ads and improved brand awareness.
The specific TV-digital ad sync technology discussed relies on a broadcast content monitoring and identification solution from Teletrax (part of Civolution). Marketers can choose which linear advertisements they want to make synchronized digital inventory buys against. When those ads are identified on linear TV, demand-side buying platforms are commanded (via integrations) to make real-time bids for digital inventory. The delay between a viewer being exposed to a linear television advertisement and the subsequently purchased digital ads is around three seconds, the webcast listeners were told.
Dave Reed, Managing Director EMEA at MediaMath (a demand-side platform pioneer whose TerminalOne Marketing Operating System enables marketers to activate data, automate execution and optimize consumer interactions across multiple channels), studied the results of a UK campaign for Dominoâ€™s Pizza where Facebook ads were served at the same time that the linear advertisement appeared on TV. There was a 40% uplift in engagement where viewers were exposed to the ads simultaneously.
MediaMath also worked with a large FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) advertiser in the U.S. who used advertorial-style long-form commercials on late night television and bought digital inventory to coincide with their playout. â€œWe found that when you synchronized the TV spot with your online media buying you could increase the response rate online and the uplift was 80% compared to advertising on TV alone or online alone,â€ Reed revealed.
Devinson Pena, EMEA Product & Training Senior Manager at Xaxis (part of Group M, providing a programmatic media and technology platform for audience buying), highlighted a campaign that Xaxis managed for a car manufacturer that wanted to increase reach into the 18-24 year-old demographic and raise brand awareness with that group. Synchronization was viewed as a more cost-efficient approach to increasing reach for this target audience than spending more money on TV alone. The synchronization approach resulted in 15% additional net reach compared to television advertising alone. Click-through rate on the synchronized digital inventory was higher than that seen on the campaign digital inventory that was not synchronized with linear TV advertisements.
Xaxis conducted a brand impact study for the client, covering consumers who were watching television and were then either exposed to a digital ad or were not exposed to a digital ad on a handheld device. â€œThere was a definite increase in unaided brand awareness for our clientâ€™s brand [where they were simultaneously exposed],â€ Pena told the webcast audience.
He revealed that the campaign strategy was to run really high volumes of display impressions within a five-minute period during and after the linear advertisement was aired. â€œThere were no frequency caps in order to achieve the high impact and high brand recognition they wanted.â€
While the laptop computer is still an important target device for the digital advertising, it was clear from this webcast discussion that advertisers primarily want to target handheld devices. Advertisers may use multiple instances of synchronization for a campaign, too, rather than just a single instance of combined exposure.
Dave Reed at MediaMath believes that TV-digital ad synchronization is one of the technologies that are helping to blur the distinction between TV budget and online budget for advertising. He also estimates that half of all the digital buys in synchronized campaigns are for display advertising and the remainder is split evenly between video pre-roll advertising and social media ads.
Pena at Xaxis pointed out that advertisers want to reach only their core target audience with the digital buys. This is about hitting the precise target audience for a product or service from among those people that may have been exposed to the television ad. It is not an attempt to reach everyone who might have been exposed to the television ad.
As an example, if the linear advertisement appears during â€˜Germanyâ€™s Next Topmodelâ€™, the advertiser will be targeting women online, not the men who were watching with their girlfriends. Pena added that advertisers will use synchronization against linear ad spots where they already know that there will be a high viewership among their specific target groups for the television commercial break. It is possible to use TV-digital ad synchronization with local and regional television, with geo-targeting of the digital inventory to ensure exposures are not wasted on geographies where the linear ad did not playout.
While the Teletrax content monitoring and identification service can flag to marketers that a particular advertisement is playing out on Channel X, there is currently no way to know whether someone in any given household is actually tuned to Channel X or watching it. For this reason an obvious strategy today is to use TV-digital ad sync with popular channels where there is a reasonable chance they will be seen.
Data about past viewing behaviours within a home, where available, might help to guide an understanding of whether someone will be watching Channel X. But Pena says the technology is working for marketers anyway, even if nobody knows whether someone is tuned into the same channel that the TV advertisement is aired on. Marketers are well aware of the shortcomings as well as the strengths of this concept, he says. â€œSynchronization is doing its job, creating brand awareness and increasing net reach for advertisers.â€
According to Volker Ballueder, Director Sales, Advertising Solutions for EMEA at Teletrax (a Civolution company), a key goal when measuring the value of TV-digital ad sync is to attribute digital actions or â€˜conversionâ€™ to the television advertising. Teletrax has performed extensive testing with various partners to prove this, including A/B studies to see the behavior of viewers who are exposed to TV and online ads together or just to online ads. There is a clear correlation between TV exposure and digital action.
Volker says the first value that is measured, because it is easy to measure, is click-through rate (CTR) on the digital inventory. While this is a good starting point, advertisers are also looking at brand engagement (like the uplift in website traffic and dwell time) and brand recognition metrics.
Teletrax studied two advertising campaigns, when a movie studio was promoting new films, that demonstrate the uplifts that are possible thanks to television and digital ad synchronization. The first one used Twitter for the digital advertising and found a 250% uplift in CTR among viewers who saw synchronized TV and digital ads compared to those who were not exposed simultaneously. â€œThat is mind-blowing, and shows that social is a very powerful channel for us,â€ Ballueder declares.
The second campaign used Facebook advertising with television. This time there was a 60% uplift in click through rates for people exposed to both ads simultaneously compared to those who were not.
The webcast audience heard that it is possible to do TV-digital ad sync and use search as the digital ad buy but this is hard to achieve because search is not available to buy in a real-time exchange. â€œIt is not as straightforward to do search but it is definitely possible,â€ Ballueder claimed.
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