‘A historic push for the brand’: How Vivid Seats is using video to diversify its media mix

The header image shows an illustration of a TV with lightning bolts on top of it.

As the market for in-person events continues to mend, ticket marketplace Vivid Seats is leveraging traditional and digital video to get in front of event-goers as they return to festivals, sporting events, theater performances and more. 

It’s a diversion from the 20-year-old, Chicago-based company’s usual approach, which typically heavily relies on performance marketing tactics to reach event goers, according to chief marketing officer Tyra Neal. But as part of its latest brand refresh, which launched in July of this year, and in an effort to diversify its media mix, video is getting a second look.

“Sight, sound and motion really conjures that experience of live events, so video is critically an important piece of it,” Neal said. “But [it’s] supported by a lot of the other pillars that we’ve talked about: out of home, audio, social.”

The creative for the brand refresh features groups of friends at live event venues, like a stadium for a sporting event or theater for a musical.

Those efforts look like both linear and streaming, as well as online video mediums like YouTube pre-roll ads. It’s unclear exactly how those ad dollars will be spent as Neal declined to offer further spend details. Per Kantar, Vivid Seats spent nearly $700,000 on media from January through September of this year, significantly down from the $1.6 million spent on media that same time period the year prior. Those numbers don’t include social media spend as Kantar does not track those figures. 

Historically, performance marketing efforts, like paid search, have taken up the largest portion of Vivid Seat’s ad dollars, per Neal. “But as we go forward, we also want to make sure that we’re diversifying our performance channels and introducing some of these new brands channels into the mix,” she said, noting that video represents the majority of the share of budget for this latest effort, followed closely by out of home, social and audio.

Leveraging video, especially OTT and CTV, allows performance-based marketing brands to “keep one foot in that performance side and being comfortable to branch out into more broad brand exposure,” said Erica Sperry, SVP and director of investment at Hill Holliday Media agency. 

As digital video offers measurement and other analytics, it’s a space more marketers will look to, Sperry predicts. “There’s sellout now in this space with certain partners, at certain times of the year, which you would not have seen two to three years ago,” she said, flicking at the idea that streaming platforms such as Hulu are selling out on available ad space.

Neal said it’s too early to say if the brand will double down in the digital video going forward. Instead, they’ll take a wait and see approach, closely following the trends event goers create. 

“We’re early on in our brand campaign journey and diversifying into other channels,” Neal said. “This represents a historic push for the brand into some of those spaces.”


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