How marketers are shaping CTV creative management and measurement in 2022

Sponsored by MNTN

Connected TV has solidified its role as a crucial part of the advertising mix, and as it establishes its permanence within omnichannel marketing strategies, both opportunities and challenges are emerging. 

Advertisers are celebrating access to the TV screen — big and small — but they are also scrambling to create the ads they need to show up and compete for audience attention.

In a recent Digiday virtual forum, MNTN discussed how marketing teams are reframing their CTV creative management, media buying and measurement tactics. The following sections highlight some of the key takeaways from that conversation.

Breaking down production cycles

CTV is a space that continues to evolve and is ready for another generational leap. As marketers are buzzing about making CTV data contextually dynamic, boosting engagement across other channels and optimizing creative strategies by device type, they’re unlocking CTV’s true potential. 

“The concept of the video production process is very different from the production process for rich media display ads,” said Marwan Soghaier, Chief Product Officer at MNTN. “TV ads often have very elegant voiceovers, background music, original scores and acting talent. And video involves delivering a storyline, message and a vision to the audience that pulls at those heartstrings to connect the brand to the viewer. That TV cycle is not the same as it is for display.”

Because of this difference in production cycles, many marketers have not been able to engage with television ads. But, some technologies hope to change this for brands of all sizes.  

“If you look at the shelf life of a video ad, most people get into video production realizing that the premium video ads they’ve just produced for their brand may only have a shelf life of about 45 to 60 days — 90 days at best if it’s a branded ad that gets shown over and over again,” Soghaier said. “With the advent of AI, now we have engines that can monitor metadata sources, the TV programming itself, determine the viewership and viewer behavior, and make suggestions and recommendations on what types of stock video, music and language could be applied to a video ad. With technologies coming full circle and making ads contextual, you can now take an existing branding ad and turn that into something that has more shelf life. 

“There’s also the advent of crowdsourcing video production, which emulates the concept of Uber,” added Soghaier. “There are organizations that allow you to go from conceptual and ideation type mode into video production mode very quickly so you can get your creative faster.”

Many brands need a way to do this at a more affordable price, and by leaning on crowdsourcing and AI capabilities, smaller advertisers can play in the TV advertising arena which was previously unavailable to them.

Investing in up-to-date CTV strategies

While these technologies allow marketers to push forward and produce the volume of creative necessary to succeed in television advertising, it’s still early days for most of these platforms.

“Right now, CTV ads are being produced by individuals using video editing tools who compile them to send to networks for programmatic advertising, where possible,” said Soghaier. “Essentially, a contextual engine would understand the kinds of behaviors that the audience a marketer is trying to target has already exhibited on their existing site and bake in the types of product recommendations that individuals would want to see while they’re watching your TV ad. This should all happen in an automated fashion without hands getting on a video. So, as user behaviors and audience members that you’re targeting change, so do your television ads.”

Although some of this tech is available, Soghaier clarifies, it hasn’t been commercialized widely within the advertising industry yet. 

“We’re in a world where there is AI that’s effectively able to connect content that’s happening in programming and provide suggested content recommendations, as well as actually rendering creative,” Soghaier continued. “There are creative engines out there that are working very hard to figure out how to produce video content without any human hands. CGI has already reached that point where, depending on the budget, it’s very difficult to discern reality from CGI. There are things already in play in the world of entertaining and animation and whatnot that will easily and quickly find their way into advertising. The technology hasn’t been fully commercialized within the world of advertising, but I believe 2023 will be the transitionary year for us moving into these types of technologies, and you’ll see more people adopting it in 2024.” 

The reality is, it’s still somewhat manual or significantly manual, but changes are on the way. 

As more marketers continue to enter the CTV space, the demand for technologies that help speed up production cycles, break down barriers to video production and help extend the life of video creatives will only increase. Marketers can expect to see AI and crowdsourcing technologies become more available in 2023 to help make the process of building creatives for CTV that much more streamlined and effective.

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