Category: News

Ads viewability won’t solve the ‘viewed’ problem

The advertising industry is moving further towards setting a standard where ‘viewability’ of ads is concerned. That’s good news. But what does this actually mean for your ads, and the likelihood that they’ll be seen and remembered by your target audience? After all, this is the aim of the game. How far can purchasing viewable impressions go towards helping to solve the issue of getting views for advertisers?

Viewability & why it’s being worked on 

Kermit not seeing

There’s been quite a bit of chatter in the last several months about viewability in online advertising. Basically, it boils down to this: as an advertiser, you may be buying ‘served impressions’ for your campaigns, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity exists for your ad to actually be seen. Your ad, for example, might be served below the fold (so out of view) on a website, or on a fraudulent site where only bots will ‘see’ it, or sometimes if an ad-blocker is in use. According to a study run by Google in 2016, more than half of ads served online never actually got seen. The thing is, ads like these would still have to be paid for as served impressions on a display network. Marketers may well have simply flung half their budgets into a furnace. Recently, however, the problem has begun to be addressed by bodies like the IAB, ANA, MRC and 4A’s, with said organisations working with networks to try to settle on viewability standards. Meaning advertisers can pay for impressions that have a high chance of being seen.

The ‘viewed’ problem, and why it won’t be solved by viewability


So that’s all good news from an advertiser’s perspective, and helps them stand a better chance of having their ads engaged with. But it’s not a guarantee by any means. Having a high viewability rate for your ads does not necessarily translate into actual ROI. Ads, for example, can meet viewability standards but simply be overlooked, or seen but not recalled later. And it’s also possible that, with the adoption of viewability standards, publishers can often feel forced into cramming the upper section of a page with ad-space or face having served impressions that don’t result in monetization for them. This may mean advertisers having more trouble rising above the visual noise, grabbing attention and encouraging recall.

A few ways to deal with it

Long story short – viewable impressions matter and make sense, but are definitely not the end of the road where creating engagement and getting people to view ads  is concerned. Advertisers and media buyers need to remain aware that plenty of other factors remain hovering around, waiting to be given due consideration. Placement and creative type, for example, still matters – viewers scan sites a certain way, paying more attention to specific sections. Context and relevance should still be thought of – native advertising can work well here, and thoughtful targeting (e.g. accurate audience modeling) is irreplaceable. Using in-image or in-stream video can also help improve the chances of gaining the attention of your target audience. And don’t forget about the quality of the creative itself, of course! Ads themselves need to be well put-together and thought out if people are to find them eye-grabbing and compelling.

Seeing the bigger picture

Creating viewability standards is a step forward, but advertisers can’t fall into the myopic  trap of believing that paying for viewable impressions will solve all of their problems and result in waves of clicks and conversions. There’s more to a successful campaign than that and a bigger picture that needs to be looked at….viewed, if you will. 🙂

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5 most interesting things in ad land right now

So what’s been going on recently in our world and yours? Let’s have a look…

Expedia Shares a Powerful Message of Global Togetherness Amid a Divisive Inauguration

Starting off with the biggest news of the week, the year and possibly the century – it’s the inauguration of (*pinches self*) President Trump. Obviously some of the rhetoric up to this point has been pretty divisive. Adweek have highlighted an example, courtesy of Expedia, of how important advertising’s role in countering all of this can become. Check it out by clicking on the link above.

The Dallas Cowboys could be the first NFL team to move into the $890 million e-sports industry

Not content with being the most valuable team in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys look like they’re now moving into the world of gaming – specifically eSports. It’s a growing industry (almost pushing $1bn a year) and could offer them a fantastic means to engage their fans. Will many other sports teams follow suit? Watch this space….

Report: by end of 2017 there will be more than 30MM voice assistants in US homes

Marketing Land outline how approximately 30 million US homes will be using voice assistants by the end of the year. While applications related to this are struggling to gain traction with users right now, things are expected to improve. Have a look at the link above.

Wal-Mart Enters Car-Selling Business

Wal-Mart appear set to take a chunk out of the car-selling market, partnering up with various dealership groups to make the leap.

The global state of fake news in 5 charts

Fake news was one of the major themes of 2016, and continues to own it’s share of (real and fake) headlines going into 2017. Digiday give a breakdown of the state of things.

How marketing and traditional simplicity won the day for Trump

Continuing with Trump’s victory in the presidential campaign, The Drum present a fantastic article on how he leveraged some old-fashioned thinking regarding branding to come out on top. For a lot of people, his was the right brand, with the right message at the right time – and that is always tough to beat. Check out the article via the link above.

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Reaching fans, in real-time, at the perfect time – getting your sports marketing right

With the mega-event known as Super Bowl LI less than a month away, we thought we’d take a look at some of the ways advertisers can capitalize on live sporting events to capture viewers’ attention and create brand engagement. Some of live TV’s most emotive moments come from seeing the perfect play executed, or watching (jaw on the floor) as your team scores in the dying seconds to emerge triumphant. Sport is full of these highs and lows. And, if you’re an advertiser, these are exactly the kind of rushes of euphoria that brands can make the most of. Or rushes of despair, if you sell pizza and ice-cream.  😛

Putting the fans front and center 


All good marketers know that placing your customer at the core of your branding efforts is key. They’re who you want to engage, so you better keep them in mind – and the kind of experience they’re looking for – when building marketing around a sporting event. And viewers are primed for interaction. A recent study conducted by Momentum Worldwide revealed that 86% of sports fans would welcome more sponsorship and marketing centred around their favourite sporting events. However, only 17% of fans feel that brands associated with teams and events actually care about them. This obviously presents a problem for brands trying to reach out – but there are ways to fix this. Marketers should, for one thing, leverage social as best as they can. Enhancing the fans’ overall experience of an event is crucial, and social channels play an important role in this. 58% feel that sharing content and updates makes the whole event more enjoyable, with half loving the content that other fans produce. Brands can create forums to facilitate this, presenting a big opportunity to engage. Fans also love rituals and traditions – 63% cited this as important. Spotting this is something Gatorade played to perfection with their ‘Gatorade Shower’ app. And don’t forget about partying! Hosting viewing parties is a major source of enjoyment for sports fans and something brands can leverage to everybody’s benefit.

TV or not TV? That is the question 


Big live games mean big ratings, something large advertisers are all too aware of. Take the Super Bowl for example. This year a 30-second slot during the game is going to cost a whopping $5 million. It is the single biggest one-off sporting event in the world and the numbers show it – every year they go up. But what if you don’t have that kind of budget, or you do (kudos to you) and you want to supplement your TV spend with some other effective methods of engagement? Below are three ideas on how to tap into the power of live sport without having to rob a bank first.

Hijack the big day out (with real-time viewing data)

‘Conquesting’ & ‘brand piggy-backing’ are two great ways of leveraging the exposure that either a competitor or complementary brand/product gets when they advertise on something as large as the Super Bowl for example (or smaller events too). The basic idea is to sync your own digital advertising with their TV exposure to gain optimal traction with your (shared) target audience. Mercedes showing their TV spot during the main event? Well, if you’ve a car dealership it could make total sense to run digital ads at the same time. This, coupled with the availability of real-time viewing data (i.e. knowing exactly who’s watching said sporting event and how to reach them), means targeting your ads at just the right time is well within any brand’s reach. Sync it to a tent-pole advertising campaign, and surf on the wave of interest that follows.

Buyers ahoy!

‘Telescoping’ (sorry about the pirate reference, hard to resist) can be a super way of building on your TV efforts and further developing the story your marketing is trying to tell about your brand. Essentially this involves an interactive prompt popping up as an overlay on your TV ad. It allows viewers to click on the overlay and view (for instance) a longer, more in-depth version of your ad or description of your product, or click to buy. This can allow you to position shorter commercials around expensive sporting event time-slots, while offering your viewers the opportunity to engage further (at less expense to you). In essence, your TV spend goes further and your story deeper.

Magic moments

What better way to make someone feel great about your brand than getting right in front of them immediately after their team has scored! A combination of audience building (both historical and real-time), live event tracking and digital ads syncing can mean that anytime a fan’s emotions are running wild, you can be there (either to celebrate with them or pick up the pieces – I refer you to my pizza and ice-cream comment above).

Winning the game 

Team celebrating

Live events are a sure-fire way of reaching out to and engaging with fans at the perfect time. Whether you want to capitalize on feel-good moments to help create a positive association with your brand, or you’d like to run concurrent call-to-action ad campaigns to generate leads and sales, there are many ways to use the power of sport to your advantage. So why wait? As the mighty swoosh would say: Just Do It.

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5 most interesting things in ad land right now

We’re back with another round-up of news from the wonderful, mad world of ad-land and all things digital and TV-related. Here’s what caught our attention this week.

MarketingTech’s 12 top 2017 predictions from martech experts

Marketing Tech News got 12 martech authorities to gaze into their crystal balls and make their predictions for how the area will change 2017 and what marketers should look out for.

‘Storm of lies’: The state of fake news in Europe 

The problem of fake news has become very prominent recently, and one dangerous way it manifests is in sites that can promote hate. But, as Digiday outlines, some advertisers are taking a stand against them. Check out the article to find out more.

Next year’s 10 most important new TV shows

Media Life Magazine outline what they think are the 10 new TV shows likely to become the hits of 2017. Media planners take note.

65% Of Connected Device Owners Open To IoT Advertising 

Connected devices already play a big part in our lives and with that influence likely to grow further, marketers are looking for ways to leverage it. And, maybe surprisingly enough to some, consumers seem pretty receptive to this.

Digital or TV? The false dichotomy in advertising 

We’ve already written a piece that touches on this theme (check it out here), but the folks at Marketing Land have also had their say on why digital and TV both need to be part of an advertiser’s plans.

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TV ads on the way out? Not quite…

Everybody’s favourite habit of late is bashing poor old TV and its place in any marketing mix. A common theme among posts related to media and advertising is the inevitable rise of digital ad-spend – how it will soon overtake spending on TV and how this heralds the end for TV advertising. Money goes where eyeballs are, after all. Some commentators have weighed in on why TV is suffering. But on closer inspection, not everything stands up to scrutiny. Check the points below, and why we think they’re not the insurmountable issues some people think they are. If anything, within each lies an opportunity for TV advertising to take its next steps forward.

Second-screen distractions

TV and mobile phone

Mobile devices, as anyone not living under a rock for the past 10 years can tell you, have exploded (that’s not a dig at Samsung). They’re everywhere, and with us practically 100% of the time. We’re always using them and, especially during TV ad-breaks. The point here is that they can act as a distraction while TV ads desperately call out for our attention, thereby rendering the TV spots ineffective.

But…is this truly the case? In a mobile world, do TV ads have a place? Absolutely! We know this because we’ve built a business around it. (Warning: shameless plug approaching!)

Our own experiences running digital campaigns that are complementary to our clients’ TV ad campaigns consistently show us that, rather than digital working against TV, the two are able to work perfectly in unison to produce results and engagement that neither one can do alone.

We’ve seen double the uplift in engagement when TV and digital campaigns run in this kind of symbiotic way. The results speak for themselves and are always far better-performing than when either medium is used in isolation. TV ads still can play a huge part in the cross-device conversation, particularly the kind of ‘call-to-action’ television that benefits from simultaneous PPC campaigns. For e-commerce of all kinds (think retail, travel, apps, online entertainment etc.) this double-act can be a godsend.

ROI of TV ads – impossible to calculate?


Traditionally, TV ad ROI has been a difficult fish to catch, and this is essentially down to a historical inability to record accurate, granular viewing data. To put it simply, ascertaining who exactly saw your TV spot and how it influenced their subsequent behaviour (and whether or not they became a paying customer) was kind of a frustrating guessing game. But with the advent of more sophisticated approaches to TV content recognition, as well as purchase attribution, this is no longer the case. One of our own key offerings is the ability to accurately measure the actual influence your TV or digital campaigns have on a purchase decision, and is something that shows that TV is as relevant to the buying journey as it ever was. The argument that TV lacks accountability is, simply put, obsolete.

OTT content competing for eyeballs 

Video subscription button

Thank the stars for Netflix! Personally, we’d be lost (and extremely bored) without it and a world of other OTT content to fill our evenings. But how badly is this hurting TV ads? Does the rise of OTT spell the end for TV advertising? Well…not exactly. Plenty of other big players (think AT&T and their DirecTV Now service) are entering the on-demand streaming game too, and have touted the long-term value of TV advertising as being key to their investments – addressable ads in particular. Being able to target viewers to the level of detail that addressable ads can (via the mountains of data facilitating them) definitely stands to be a watershed in TV advertising. Crucially, it also means that shows with smaller audiences and ratings can still be of great value, if the right ads can still be show to the right person at the right time. This means producers and broadcasters can squeeze more value out of all of their content inventory, and keep TV relevant to advertisers.

Not quite time for a eulogy yet…

Zombie hand

Let’s be clear about something. Ratings for the major networks haven’t been great in the past couple of years in terms of growth. There is definite competition, in particular, from OTT services. But this doesn’t mean the end for TV – far from it. What we’re witnessing now is not so much the devolution of TV and its place in the advertising spectrum, but an evolution. As viewers migrate to OTT models and away (in part) from linear TV, advertising spend will adapt to this. It would, however, be a mistake to assume that digital is going to swallow TV advertising whole. The two are not engaged in the zero-sum battle that passing observers might claim, but stand to be a great double-act in turning viewers into buyers. As its evolution develops, TV will continue to offer a bridge between an advertiser and a valuable customer. As long as this is the case, it will have a place in any smart media buyer’s plans.

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5 most interesting things in ad land right now

Here are a few things we found of interest – we think you will too.

5 charts: Forecasting the 2017 global ad market

As we approach the end of 2016, Digiday give the lowdown on the latest predictions for the global ad market in 2017. Some interesting takeaways:

  • Ad revenue in China still growing
  • Digital ad spend to surpass TV (driven largely by OTT content viewing, something TVadSync can leverage for our clients)
  • Mobile ad spend expanding – making engaging across multiple devices all the more important

Sports Predominantly Viewed Live, Some Time-Shifted Viewing

While some sports fans opt to watch time-shifted TV, most still love viewing their favourite sports events live. For advertisers, this means that being able to target ads to users at just the right moment (e.g. when the ‘right’ team wins!) is crucial. Have a look at the piece on Media Post.

What Amazon Go Means for the Future of Retail

Being able to walk into a store, take what you need and not have to queue? Sounds like heaven to us! But how will it shape what’s coming in retail? Check out the article above.

How Advertising Will Live on DirecTV Now, AT&T’s New Streaming TV Service

With AT&T introducing their DirecTV Now service, what will this mean for addressable advertising and the TV ad model in general? Click on the link and see Advertising Age’s take.

This investment bank presentation breaks down the complicated digital ad industry in 2016

Business Insider present LUMA’s great breakdown of the complicated and ever-evolving digital ad ecosystem as it is today, with details on its movers and shakers and high performers.

Keeping up-to-date on the latest TV and ad-land news can be quite the time-consuming monster, so let us do it for you! Sign up for our newsletter!

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TVadSync on The Innovation Show

Our CEO Ronan and co-founder Pieter were on The Innovation Show earlier this month. The show throws the spotlight on the best, brightest and most innovative companies around, and helps highlight how and why they’re bringing change to their industries.

Check out the podcast here.

Interested in chatting to us? Contact our team or leave your email below.

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TVadSync’s European Launch of Smart Retarget

TVadSync’s launch of our European version of Smart Retarget was featured in MediaPost. This is a big step forward for European agencies and advertisers, who’ll now be able to reap the benefits our clients in the US have been. As our CEO Ronan put it:

“For 50 years TVs have not known what they’re showing. Now, thanks to ACR [automated content recognition] built into the set, the smart TV is becoming smarter. This is a tectonic shift for cross-screen advertising, being able to link ad media delivery across various screens in the home. …Pretty soon nearly all televisions will collect viewing data, similar to how the Web and apps do.”

Check out the article here.

Interested in talking to us about our products? Contact our team or leave your email below.

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TVadSync @ NAB Show 2016 / SPROCKIT Hub

TVadSync has been selected to exhibit at SPROCKIT 2016 at NAB Show 2016 in Las Vegas.

SPROCKIT is the media and entertainment industry alliance, showcasing and collaborating on products, services and new revenue models. SPROCKIT spotlights industry innovations through two channels: a showcase at NAB Show, the world’s largest media and entertainment event; and SPROCKIT Sync, a series of private meetings where conversations continue in Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles.

Corporate members include Cox Media Group, Fox Networks Group, Hearst Television, Samsung Global Innovation Center, TEGNA and Univision.


TVadSync will publicly launch Smart Retarget — the first cross-screen, TV spot retargeting service to bring linear TV advertising into the digital age — at a session on Tuesday April 19th at 12.40pm PST at the SPROCKIT Pavilion, North Hall LVCC.

The SPROCKIT Hub will run from April 18-21 in the North Hall.  TVadSync booth is N8635-13.

Add TVadSync to myNAB Show.

Or book an appointment with Chris Fredericks at (310) 401-7900

Full press release can be found here:

IAB UK “Real Living” study shows rise of second screen in living rooms

The Internet Advertising Bureau in the United Kingdom released the results of study on television in the living room entitled “Real Living”.


Key takeaways:

Myth one: The TV screen is the dominant screen in the living room. Connected devices are used as ‘second screens’

Myth two: The TV content / advertising schedule determines behaviour in the living room

Myth three: People are multi-tasking and multi-screening

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