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Connected TV Advertising: What’s the Best Way to Position Your Creative?
You may have the best targeting in the world and a huge budget to run your campaigns - but let’s face it, how you position your story matters.
Written by Melissa Yap
We have seen it all in the past ten years that we’ve been around the digital advertising space – from serving the best performing creative, understanding the nuts and bolts of what makes a great campaign, through to measuring and tracking performance. It’s safe to say we’ve cracked the code on what makes viewers tick when watching an ad – and it’s much more than pushing forward your product.
At the very minimum, when building a Connected TV ad, we advise in our creative guidelines to include both a logo and URL throughout the commercial, along with a call to action to tell the audience where to go or what to do. From analyzing a sample of 27 CTV campaigns, we found:
- Campaigns that followed all of our creative guidelines had an average visit rate 32% higher than campaigns that did not follow the guidelines.
- They also had an average MTD Cost Per View that was 48.7% lower than non-guideline following brands.
When it comes to advertising on CTV, these basic guidelines go a long way. Including a CTA or persistent URL may seem like minor details, but they matter. Our findings above show how tailoring video creative for CTV can help unlock its direct-response potential.
Importantly, the higher performing campaigns also combined adherence to our CTV guidelines with a creative approach. The Harvard Business Review compared non-creative ads to creative ads and found that “a [dollar] invested in a highly creative ad campaign had, on average, nearly double the sales impact of a [dollar] spent on a non-creative campaign.”
What is the secret recipe that makes a great television ad? Help your customers come to you, instead of having them dig for the information themselves. A top performing creative goes beyond this, and what better way than to learn from our very own customers.
The Power of a Four-Letter Word
FREE. It’s crazy to think how a small four-letter word could carry the power of persuasion, but it is literally hardwired into our brains. Dan Ariely, a leading psychology and behavioral economics professor and author of Predictably Irrational said it best, “Free isn’t just an indicator of price. It’s a powerful emotional trigger that’s often irresistible. ‘Free’ acts like a four-letter guarantee to short-circuit a customer’s rational thinking – something known as the zero price effect. When an item is free, it’s perceived as having a higher value because it doesn’t come with a risk.” Psychologically speaking, seeing the word ‘Free’ is enough to release dopamine into our brain, and we end up responding irrationally. Walmart’s new InHome delivery service does just that through its clear CTA – and who doesn’t want an obligation free service?
Prioritize Emotion Over Your Message
Maya Angelou said it best, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The best ads out there tug at your heartstrings (and if you have a memorable jingle, then even better!), and make you feel something. SteelHouse Performance TV lets you serve 15 or 30 second non-skippable ads to an engaged audience, and those first three seconds are make or break. A study by Google found that “when ads include the brand early on—through a logo or an audible brand mention—there’s an inverse relationship between recall and engagement. While ads with the brand in the first five seconds have higher ad recall and brand awareness lift, people are also more likely to skip them.”
So, what’s the secret then? The emotion of surprise. Industry publication Marketing Dive noticed that the ads showing surprised emotions in the first three seconds drove a 360% jump in performance, while ads with happy emotions saw a decrease of 64% in conversions. Let’s take a look at what this looks like IRL with one of our customers, Herman Miller, an award winning design company. Notice how both of these ads held an element of surprise? You’re not sure what’s coming around the corner but it’s captivating enough for you to want to keep watching.
Stick to One Message
According to research, the best ads highlight both a product’s functional benefits and triggers the viewer’s imagination. This combination packs powerful punch to activate parts of a viewer’s brand to make the ad more effective. One recommended way of telling a single message in an effective way is through the ‘Seed, Amplify and Echo’ approach, which is built off the idea of knitting together short and long form videos in one campaign, to engage your audience. This same concept applies for a single ad, like CTV’s 30 second non-skippable ads. This ad by our customer Dagne Dover illustrates this perfectly:
- Seed an idea to intrigue the audience
“What am I looking at”, and “How can I use it?” – two simple questions, but how your brand answers them in the creative you show, makes a huge difference. Including scenes that highlight the product’s advantages set off a spark in the viewer’s brain that help to recognize, identify and remember your brand. Dagne Dover’s ad highlights this perfectly in its messaging “We design bags for your real life hustle” in the opening frames.
- Amplify the viewer’s interest by offering a deeper experience
Thankfully, with SteelHouse Performance TV, you have either 15 or 30 seconds, to highlight your brand. Use your brand storytelling to offer in detail, how your brand and product benefits your customer. Today’s customer is focused on “Me, myself and I”, so keep this in mind in any of your ad creative. Dagne Dover uses the science of sound with a crescendo, to help drive the story and pairs this with a solid voiceover that drives home product features.
- Remind your audience, reinforce your message and drive a clear call-to-action (PRO TIP: Try to show your logo on your product, as studies show that viewers are less likely to watch and remember brands and ads if the logo isn’t actually on the product).
Finally, wrap up your CTV ad by checking off a few key components – URL, logo and also a call-to-action. Dagne Dover’s final message is “get a bag that gets it”, not only gets straight to the point, it tells customers exactly what to do and how to get there through the clever use of copy. Researchers at the Rotterdam School of Management, found that “adverts or elements that appeal to the imagination, or have an original way of delivering the message, activates more complex thought processes, such as sustained attention, working memory and creative thinking.” You would do well to take that into account when building out your ads.
For more creative tips, check out Our Guide to Video Creative Strategy, which analyzes some of our top performing content, and how you can apply it to your own ads. Get in touch with a member of our team, and learn how we can help you reach your performance marketing and branding goals.