What the World Cup and Black Friday Say About the Future of Ads
by Stephen Graveman
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The Biggest Night in Hollywood Gives Brands the Chance to Walk the Red Carpet
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The Academy Awards is undoubtedly Hollywood’s biggest night, and this year there was no star brighter than Connected TV (CTV). Most notably, Apple made history as the first streamer to bring home the top prize with its “CODA” winning Best Picture. But CODA, which won three Oscars total, wasn’t alone. Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog” and “Don’t Look Up” were also nominated for Best Picture. In fact, eight out of the ten nominees for Best Picture are currently streaming on Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, or Netflix. This year, you didn’t need to have access to screeners or make multiple trips to the theater—you could and can watch nearly all the nominees from your couch.
No longer relegated to the fringes, CTV is now the place to go if you want to see the most prestigious movies of the year, and this year’s awards guarantee this trend won’t settle down anytime soon. For streaming platforms, that’s great news. For advertisers on CTV, it’s even better—now brands can be tied closely with award-winning films without having to rely on jarring tactics of yesteryear like product placement. This year’s validation has changed everything—and now even the old guard of movie theaters are mimicking CTV advertising tactics.
This year’s big win for CTV was the logical conclusion after the last few years of progress made by streaming giants. During the pandemic, streaming service subscriptions skyrocketed—and viewership habits changed out of necessity. At the same time, many consumers opted to start upgrading their home theater setups during lockdown. As a result, over 75% of movie viewers now say they’d rather watch a new release at home than go to a theater.
Movie studios and streaming platforms have taken notice. Not only are deals constantly signed to get the latest movies on CTV mere weeks after they leave theaters, but streaming services themselves are making major investments to create content, sign exclusive deals, and promote their offerings. Apple was willing to spend an estimated $10 million on promotion for CODA, after dropping $25 million for exclusive rights—and the validation of Oscar night means the arms race of spending between platforms will only continue to rise (last year streaming services spent over $220 billion on content).
It’s not just programmatic advertising on CTV that gives brands new ways to reach audiences—now even movie theaters are starting to mimic the features of premium CTV ad platforms like MNTN Performance TV. Cinema ad seller National CineMedia has announced a data-driven ad platform that allows advertisers to match their data against the platform’s unique data records—then retarget audiences based on geographical, behavioral, and contextual information.
The move is raising eyebrows, as two methods for audiences to watch movies—at home or in-theaters—are now supported by programmatic advertising solutions. Further, it demonstrates CTV’s success story for advertisers as the old guard of movie theaters are now scrambling to adopt similar strategies to keep up. While there are similarities between the two delivery methods, the very nature of movie theaters being a shared experience means that the initial delivery of high-impact video ads still can’t be targeted toward a specific viewer and their tastes.
For years, if a brand wanted to get noticed in a film it had to rely on paying hefty licensing fees, signing deals, and working with obtrusive and obvious product placement. Worse, these outdated tactics cast a wide net that doesn’t always land with the customer. For instance, if you don’t drive, an automotive product placement in a movie won’t move the needle for you. This approach often only allowed the largest of brands to be seen in movies—companies who had deep enough pockets to pay and were big enough to be recognized everywhere the movie was shown.
The rise of CTV and its prestige content has leveled the playing field for advertisers. Now, not only can your brand be seen alongside award-winning movies that everyone is watching, but you can do it in a way that’s better received by audiences, more cost-effective, and ensures you’re only targeting your next loyal customers. Premium CTV platforms like Performance TV are already built for this movie-at-home mindset. Features like Living Room Quality ensure your ads are only seen on the most theatrical screen in the house—the TV—while cross-device attribution tracks when a viewer takes the next step to engage with a brand, regardless of what device they use in their household.
All the streaming giants are prepared to make 2022 even bigger for film; is your brand ready for the spotlight next year?