It used to be that only the biggest brands (with the deepest pockets) could dream of putting out an ad for the Super Bowl. Not anymore.
It’s the only event of the year where people say they’re watching for the commercials — so for advertisers, the Super Bowl is, well… the Super Bowl. Watched by over a hundred million people, and broadcast in over 130 countries, there are few better chances for a brand to get the word out. But that level of exposure comes at a hefty price tag — over $7 million for thirty seconds of airtime, not to mention the cost of creating the ad itself — which means that for many brands, a splashy Super Bowl ad was nothing more than a distant dream.
That is, until Connected TV (CTV) advertising leveled the playing field in a really exciting way. With less-expensive placements, more-targeted demographics, and exciting features, CTV advertising has not only become a way for big names to extend the reach of their media budgets but also a way for smaller businesses to get in on the excitement of the Big Game.
In this post, let’s explore all the ways CTV advertising is changing the game:
Case Study: how OKO Digital drove a 500% increase in revenue for Loop Media – read more here
Higher Viewability — No Skipping
One problem with ads, of course, is that they only work if people are looking. When dealing with normal ads, that’s no big deal — these things take time, and you’ll get them on the next go-round. But when you’re burning $14 million a minute, you want as many eyes on your content as possible. That’s one of the biggest downsides to linear TV.
CTV advertising doesn’t have this problem to the degree that linear or pre-recorded TV does. Your CTV audience is engaged, with view rates approaching 100%. And the ads are unskippable, meaning that you’re getting more bang for your buck.
Getting more bang for your buck is especially impressive when you consider that you’re spending far fewer bucks. Most small to midsize brands could never have dreamed of advertising on the live Super Bowl broadcast, but there are a wide variety of more-affordable ways to advertise on CTV that move the needle in a trackable, measurable way.
On paper, CTV ad buys might appear to carry higher rates compared to certain linear counterparts. While that’s obviously not true when it comes to the Super Bowl (pretty much the most-expensive thirty seconds money can buy), it’s also not true when it comes to costs-per-conversion, thanks to the unique ways advertisers can target smaller, more-specific audiences:
Targeting Your Audience
Generally speaking, linear Super Bowl ads try to cast as wide a net as possible — the game is an unusual mixture of demographics, and making an ad that appeals to as broad an audience as they can is a challenge. With CTV advertising, hyper-targeting your specific customer base is a snap.
With CTV advertising, you can target audiences by behavior, location, real-time GPS, viewing habits, the type of hardware they’re watching on, and swathes of first-party data that linear advertising would kill for. This means that your less-expensive, unskippable creatives are also specifically targeting the audiences that will find your message compelling.
This means that your less-expensive, unskippable creatives are also specifically targeting the audiences that will find your message compelling.
CTV advertising can include unique interactive elements that linear ads can’t: the ability to send information to other devices on the same network (like phones or tablets), QR codes that take viewers directly into your sales funnel, or giving viewers at home the ability to choose which ad experience they prefer are all great ways to generate more viewer buy-in. Plus, conversions generated that way are directly traceable back to the creative that’s responsible for them.
Back during the 2020 Super Bowl, Coinbase ran a QR code in one of their ads, which generated so much interest it crashed their website within minutes. This showcased the value of a successful interactive element, which promised viewers something worthwhile if they acted quickly. CTV advertising is full of unique opportunities for interactive content.
This year, CBS sold out of ad slots for the linear Super Bowl broadcast in November of last year, meaning that they ran out of space for ads months before some advertisers even knew what they wanted to run. With CTV, ad space is far less limited and more abundant and also allows for unique implementations.
With the lower costs and greater flexibility of CTV advertising, brands can plan for multiple contingencies — for example, building two versions of the same ad depending on the outcome of the game, and choosing which one to serve in real-time.
Football is all about stats and metrics, just like advertising. And as everyone in the industry knows, 2024 is the end of third-party tracking cookies. Those numbers have been the lifeblood of the industry for years, and CTV is a great place to start looking for alternatives.
CTV advertising allows advertisers to collect a wealth of first-party data about consumer behaviors in real-time. You can trace site visits and conversions back to specific creatives or QR codes, which allows advertisers a better window into the minds of their consumers, and more-actionable data from which to take the next steps.
Extending Your Ad’s Reach
On Monday morning, after the winners have gone home and the confetti has been cleaned up, the conversation quickly turns to the ads: what was funny, what brought a tear to your eye, what did Budweiser do this time? In the long-ago prehistory of ten-to-fifteen years ago, all you could do was describe those ads for the benefit of people who missed them. But now, all those ads are on YouTube in stunning 8k resolution.
Advertisers are noting significant boosts to their audience by posting their ads on YouTube alongside their traditional TV advertising, where word-of-mouth from friends and co-workers alongside media coverage of the biggest hits drives people to watch (or re-watch) their favorites. That’s a significant force multiplier for messaging, at no additional cost. No matter where your ads ran, giving people a way to revisit them later is an incredibly-affordable opportunity.
In conclusion, CTV advertising is providing smaller advertisers a huge opportunity to get in on the live-broadcast game, in a way that allows for better targeting and has the potential for a huge ROI improvement over linear advertising. The game has changed — with the potential for there to be more winners than ever before.
If you’re a publisher looking to maximize your revenue through CTV as we have for our other clients, reach out to OKO today. The #1 Google Certified Publishing Partner for CTV, OKO has been a leader and innovator in monetization since 1996 — find out why.