Connected TV 7 Min Read

Why DTC Brands Aren’t Breaking a Sweat These Holidays

Written by Melissa Yap

The upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season – though who are we kidding, these events are holidays in themselves – are upon us. While other brands are getting their ducks in a row and ramping up for the biggest consumer event of the year as a way to play catch up, Black Friday is simply BAU for many D2C brands, whose online presence has largely shielded them from a drop in sales like widespread store closures due to citywide lockdowns. Some of these brands aren’t going fully fledged into deep-discounts like others, but as Adweek recently reported are using the upcoming shopping holidays as a retention play. The goal is to use this period as a way to incentivize and acquire new customers that will stay with the brand in the long run instead of a one-off purchase once a year. For this reason, D2C brands like Lively are experimenting with other types of promotions like doubling loyalty points and a gift with purchase. What’s the secret sauce to their success otherwise?

What ‘Pause’ Button?

We saw advertisers halt spend as COVID-19’s first apex hit our shores, but we predicted early on that halting all spend would be a big mistake. Fast forward more than six months later and our predictions were correct – advertisers aren’t pulling on the brakes. Industry publication Digiday reports that advertisers are keeping their spending consistent and have built in more flexibility into their ad deals. Particularly in the case of the TV market, more than 1,200 D2C advertisers have gravitated towards Connected TV buys rather than Linear TV  where they had more freedom to spend, stop and start campaigns (and measure them). Peter Olsen, EVP of Ad Sales at A+E networks explains that “the whole direct-to-consumer sector continues to show growth including the fourth-quarter holiday-themed spending.”

…It’s Not Just the Advertisers Either

You’d think that COVID-19 kept a stronghold on consumers purse strings, but with people spending more time at home and another wave on its way, it’s time for brands – both D2C and bigger brands – to invest more in their advertising strategy. Menswear retailer Mack Weldon told AdWeek last week that they had seen a steady increase in demand for their products, driven by the increase of people working remotely and a shifting preference for casual wear, which gave them an opportunity to expand into new ways to reach customers. Advertising on Connected TV was a clear success, with a 5% increase in site traffic. 

Another D2C brand, Vuori, specialized in outdoor and athletic-wear, explored Connected TV’s branding and storytelling capabilities. “We wanted to be direct with our messaging, but also ensure the feeling of the brand came through at the same time,” said Nikki Sakelliou, VP Marketing. Then there’s shapewear company, Shapermint, who have grown site visitors from Connected TV by 19%, up from 10% in June, thanks to their national ad campaign “Feel Like the Masterpiece You Are”.

So, Connected TV is the Secret…But What About the Ad Fraud Issue That Keeps Coming Up?

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is – right? Recently, Wall Street Journal explored the latest brand safety concerns that are coming to light as Connected TV advertising grows as a direct-response channel. Iris.TV is one such company that is trying to help clear the way for transparent and fraud-free ad buying on CTV and video, which is so far only limited to direct-buy platforms, since show-level data isn’t always available. The challenges can be circumvented through the right Connected TV advertising, like SteelHouse Performance TV, who works directly with a curated inventory of 125+ premium top-tier networks and provides network level-data all within a single user interface, without having to consult a third-party vendor. 

Looking to learn a bit more about how Connected TV can fuel your campaign efforts in the new year? Save your (virtual) set for our upcoming webinar on Monday December 14th at 1pm ET/10am PT, in partnership with Oracle Data Cloud and AdWeek. In the meantime, if you have any further questions you can always get in touch with our team here.