Advertising Week Hot Takes: TV’s Revolution
26 September 2019 • tvsquared
Marlessa Stivala,
Content Marketing Manager

Advertising Week New York is in full force, as industry leaders gather to discuss the hottest trends and innovations shaping the present (and future) of the industry.

The biggest themes threaded throughout our favorite panels were TV measurement, which put performance front and center, and OTT, which took center stage as advertisers shift budgets to test and learn in this new environment.

Of course, there was also a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the future of TV and how, with industry players spanning the buy- and sell-sides (plus everyone in between), we can preserve and grow TV to be greater than it’s ever been before. Nicolle Pangis, CEO of Ampersand, kicked off Day 1, driving home the message of “better together.”

Here’s a look back at some of the key takeaways from our favorite panels, all with one element in common: TV’s revolution!

Seeing Your Customer in 3-D: A Media Strategy Essential

Reaching an intended audience is important, but advertisers also need to do everything they can to ensure they’re taking full advantage of data-driven insights in order to drive their business outcomes. As Andrea Zapata, VP of Research & Insights at Comcast Spotlight, explained: “It’s one thing to reach your customer, but it always comes back to outcomes. What are clients holding you accountable for? Data is awesome, but it’s what you do with it that makes it great.”

It’s also becoming increasingly important for advertisers to better understand the various platforms with which audiences are engaged. Justin Evans, Global Head of Analytics & Insights at Samsung Ads said, “If advertisers are spending all this money on linear and digital, they should know what’s wasted and how duplicated their reach is. Helping clients navigate this is becoming a key focus.”

TV’s Race to Performance 

Jo Kinsella, TVSquared’s CRO & EVP, emphasized the need for the industry to embrace performance as a currency: “We have the technology and we have the platforms and the data, everyone just has to get behind it and move forward.”

TV's Race to Performance Panel

Matt Boxer, NBCU’s SVP of Sports & Automotive, echoed this, saying how the power of TV lies in combining performance with scale. He added, “We’re seeing brands that are digital-based coming back to TV in a very big way, because they can’t capture enough scale online only.”

In encouraging more advertisers to take advantage of TV for performance, Justin Rosen, Ampersand’s VP of Advanced TV, spoke to the industry’s “need to go on the offense” and “lean into the things that we know are in TV’s advantage.”

Redefining TV Performance: Test, Learn & Collaborate

Measuring the performance of TV ads is more advanced than ever before, as TV itself spans content across linear, digital, OTT and more. And the opportunity to test and learn can be game-changing. Nicole Whitesel, Publicis Media’s EVP of Advanced TV & Omnichannel, explained how brands willing to experiment across channels and “invest in the future [of TV]” will be more likely to find success: “Brands that have an appetite to [test] are starting to really learn about what’s delivering against a business outcome … and which channels are doing that.”

Valuing those data insights was a main takeaway too, as Kyle Johnson, Adobe’s Advanced TV Measurement Lead, predicted: “Automation and the ability to utilize data to receive insights quickly are where marketers are going to focus and continue to grow.” Meanwhile, Kelly Abcarian, Nielsen’s GM of Advanced Video Advertising, spoke to the importance of collaboration: “Trust and transparency will be the way this industry continues to grow.”

Winning in the Next Era of TV: Experience & Certainty 

In an industry that’s continually evolving, how can TV advertisers establish long-term relationships with consumers that crave authentic engagement and have more options than ever before? For viewers, experience matters.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity to help brands align their messaging with great storytelling [across platforms],” Jeremy Helfand, VP & Head of Advertising Platforms at Hulu said. He added that “helping [brands and agencies] create innovation that allows them to better connect with the  viewer in that paradigm is the opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Christina Beaumier, Xandr’s TV Platform VP, stressed the importance of advertisers “buying holistically,” making sure an ad is truly airing “where your consumer is.”

DTC: From Digital and Back Panel

DTC: From TV to Digital and Back

The reason direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are flooding to TV is simple: it works. Karen Phillips, Viacom’s EVP of Ad Solutions, said, “success breeds more investment.” Danielle DeLauro, VAB’s EVP, referred to TV as DTC’s “preferred playbook,” citing how it heightens legitimacy and provides greater scale.

Meanwhile, TVSquared’s Kinsella broke down exactly what this forward-thinking vertical is looking for: “When it comes to TV, none of our DTC brands talk about ratings, GRPs or cord-cutting. They talk about performance.”

They also discussed the areas of opportunities for DTC brands, citing OTT as a great opportunity to test and learn, especially given that these companies are typically digital-natives; local buys are often overlooked, yet provide a potential way to drive strong business outcomes and ROI.

TV + Attribution: A Modern Day Love Story

Speaking to the value of attribution, Tom McLoughlin, New York Interconnect’s VP of Regional Sales, said that it has been game-changing for clients, giving them the “confidence that their investment worked.”

Later on, Bob Ivins, Ampersand’s Chief Data Officer, stressed how: “We should be able to define and find the audience that [brands] want to reach … and we should be able to measure and report on it.” He mentioned TVSquared as the company empowering advertisers to tie TV campaigns directly to business outcomes.

Ivins went on to reiterate the theme mentioned earlier in the day around collaboration across the industry, echoing sentiments from Pangis: “What we’re trying to do now is a team sport. We need to work together – not only distributors, but data companies and content providers need to come together to deliver on the promise.”