Connected TV

How AI Gives the Gift of the Perfect Holiday Ad

QuickFrame by MNTN Spills the Secrets for Seasonal Success to eMarketer

How AI Gives the Gift of the Perfect Holiday Ad

4 Min Read

It’s called “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for advertisers, this year has extra reason to be merry and bright. As the landscape shifts to a post-COVID world, holiday sales are expected to rise 3.3% and reach as high as $1.262 trillion. But despite this optimism and opportunity, the holiday season also poses many challenges, including a crowded market and changing consumer behaviors. How can brands possibly hope to capitalize on this explosive holiday market, especially if they have a limited budget? We recently discovered the secret recipe for the perfect seasonal ad—and in the spirit of the season, we’re sharing what we found.

Jeremy Bunya, QuickFrame by MNTN’s Product Marketing Manager, recently joined eMarketer to share data-driven insights on what makes a successful holiday ad. A full recording of the webinar, Analyzing the Season: What AI Technology Says About Effective Holiday CTV Ads, can be found here— or you can keep reading below for a few takeaways.

‘Tis the Season for Spending

Bunya kicked off the presentation with a look at the holiday ad landscape. “Holiday digital ad spending is expected to reach $45 billion in 2022,” noted Bunya. But this holiday season is about more than just lucrative opportunities—it marks a sea change in consumer behaviors that were shaped during COVID. Bunya noted that consumers are shopping earlier this year—almost half of all shoppers already started shopping before October—and price, convenience, and speed of delivery are the three most important decision factors for purchases.

So what does this data tell us about the holidays? First, digital spending will continue to be strong into the 2022 holiday season, and brands need to be prepared to meet consumers’ demand for eCommerce options. Second, the earlier timetable for holiday shopping means that holiday ad creative needs to be produced sooner than ever. And third, consumers’ changing decision factors mean that video ads need to deliver content that clearly—and cleverly—demonstrates value to capture mindshare.

Dashing Through the Data

So we know that brands need to focus on digital, produce more creative that demonstrates value, and deploy it sooner than ever. Easier said than done, right? To help brands get started, QuickFrame by MNTN used their Video Vitals AI to analyze CTV holiday commercials from last year. The team then took those findings and married them with corresponding performance data from MNTN Performance TV. The specific creative findings were analyzed from the best performing videos that lead to the greatest impact on ROAS (return on ad spend).

Bunya covered finding across categories including topics, keywords, emotions, on-screen talent, and objects. Below are a few of the takeaways he shared; you can watch the full presentation to take a deeper dive into all the findings.

  • Topics: Consumers crave personalization—and brands should narrow their ads and targeting to match. For instance, “Men’s Fashion and Style” had a 68% better ROAS, while the more generic “fashion” produced a -32% reaction.
  • Keywords: Everyone’s shopping for a deal during the holidays, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Words that conveyed savings, such as “code” and “save” were the most used keywords in successful holiday ads.
  • Emotions: Fear-based messaging works for improving visit rates, but “joy” converts—especially during the holidays. Interestingly, “anger” drove an increase of 98% ROAS in the education vertical. The takeaway? “Frankness about a consumer pain point can establish an authentic connection to show the viewer you share their values,” said Bunya.

Applying it To Your Own Campaigns

While the data QuickFrame by MNTN produced is insightful, how can your brand apply it to your holiday campaigns? “The key to standing out in this holiday season is to optimize traditional approaches with data-driven insights,” noted Bunya. He pointed to three main takeaways for advertisers:

  • Don’t tinker with what’s working. “Lean into tried-and-true creative elements,” Bunya suggested. He pointed to joyful emotions and cost-saving tactics that traditionally perform well during the holidays.
  • Optimize and personalize. By taking those traditional elements and optimizing them with data, you can refine your traditional approach. “Our insights highlight how specificity and personalization can be a boon for holiday marketers,” said Bunya.
  • Bring it back around. As you produce more holiday ads, you’ll generate more holiday data—creating an endless data-driven feedback loop. Savvy advertisers should take these new learnings and continue to fold them into their campaigns year after year, continually refining their ads’ effectiveness.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Our test with QuickFrame’s Video Vitals AI technology and MNTN’s Performance TV produced more key holiday findings than we have room for here. Watch the full recording of Analyzing the Season: What AI Technology Says About Effective Holiday CTV Ads to learn how to supercharge your holiday ads.