What the World Cup and Black Friday Say About the Future of Ads
by Stephen Graveman
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Speak to a CTV Expert
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The Big Game. The Ad Bowl. Whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that it’s as synonymous with commercials as it is football. Every year, some of the biggest brands take the global stage to roll out expensive, extravagant ads that cost millions of dollars for just thirty seconds. But are these ads seen or remembered? Without targeting and tracking, how would you even know?
Thankfully there’s a better way to get high-impact ads that do more—and cost less.
MNTN’s SVP of Customer Success, Chris Contreras, joined Spencer Weinman, Chief Revenue Officer at QuickFrame by MNTN, and John Deshner, Strategy at Maximum Effort, to share with MediaPost how brands of all sizes can build high-impact ads and video creative that always find their target. If you missed it, a recording of the webinar can be found here—or you can keep reading for just a few of the insights the trio shared.
It’s no secret that ads for The Big Game demand big dollars. But what may come as a surprise is that while ad prices continue to skyrocket, viewership is dropping. And worst of all, the average cost of an ad is weighed down by hidden fees that go beyond the average $6 million for a thirty-second spot. Thanks to networks selling ad inventory that require a match buy, the average price of a third-second ad is closer to $13 million—or more. That’s a lot of money for a spot that isn’t trackable, isn’t targetable, and might not even be seen by the right audience.
“Ad spend has been increasing since 2003—and at a healthy rate,” notes MNTN’s Chris Contreras. “But even with the reach of an event like the Super Bowl, corporate advertisers are buying up all the ad units and viewership isn’t guaranteed,” Contreras noted that even after all those costs, your ad might not even run late into the fourth quarter—well after many viewers have decided the fate of the game and tuned out.
Contreras suggested that for advertisers, running linear TV ads for big events had more cons than pros. “Costs are increasing. You’re unable to test. You’re unable to change messaging or frequency,” he noted. Thankfully, there’s a better way with Connected TV advertising. With more viewers cutting the cord and making the transition to streaming, advertising on CTV offers a targetable audience that you can measure effectively. The result? “With CTV we know who’s watching at any given time and can deliver the ad to them specifically,” said Contreras. “Any time of year could be your Super Bowl.”
Further, CTV advertising offers real-time feedback that just isn’t possible on linear TV. “What did those viewers do next? Did they visit your website? Make a purchase? With CTV, you can target the audience, drive performance that’s measurable, and get those results now. Not the next day, not seven days later—you can see the interactions in real-time in the [MNTN Connected TV] platform.”
QuickFrame by MNTN’s Spencer Weinman spoke next about the power of video—and why it’s in demand more than ever. With CTV surging, brands are rethinking how they utilize video and are increasingly in need of a high-performing creative that can be deployed quickly. Unfortunately, video creation is easier said than done. Steep costs, scaling difficulties, and the need for frequent refreshes to keep the messaging effective block many advertisers out—many of whom want to participate in CTV but can’t with these barriers.
QuickFrame by MNTN helps brands keep pace with today’s video-first world to create video for every channel, audience, and objective. “QuickFrame solved the very specific problem of video, but now that we’re part of MNTN we have direct access to that performance data. Not only can we both create a video and deliver it to a targeted audience, but we can also run performance analysis on reception.” Using software like QuickFrame by MNTN’s proprietary Video Vitals AI, the team can break down the individual elements that make a video a hit—giving you the blueprints to the perfect ad for your brand. “This is really creating new opportunities for brands,” said Weinman. “It’s not just more shots on goal, but about creating video that performs better.”
Maximum Effort’s John Deshner took over to explain why necessity is the mother of all invention—and how it’s paid off big for Maximum Effort. The team, created to support MNTN Chief Creative Officer Ryan Reynolds’ smash-hit Deadpool, knows that more time and money isn’t always better. “A great story beats a big budget. Every time,” stated Deshner after he explained how an iconic and creative scene from Deadpool was born out of budgetary constraints. Similarly, Maximum Effort has found success creating ads for brands by leveraging cultural moments, acting quickly, and creating a great story.
As an example, Deshner pointed to a hit ad that the team made for Aviation Gin, starring LeVar Burton. The ad tapped into an internet campaign to make Burton the next host of Jeopardy – and aired just a day after it was announced he got the gig. While the commercial was written, shot, and edited in less than 48 hours, it produced big results for Aviation Gin—over 1.5 million views, 68,000 likes, and an instant increase in Aviation sales. And it was all done on budget nowhere near the cost of a “Big Game” ad. “This doesn’t mean everything has to react to what’s in the news, but it does mean you should be ready,” cautioned Deshner. “Most of our big moments are not because we’re super clever or our clients are brave. It’s because we were ready and able to move fast.”
We’re just scratching the surface of the valuable insights and tips shared in Keep the Super, Lose the Bowl: How to Quickly Build High-Impact TV & Video Creative. Click here to watch the full presentation on-demand.