Connected TV

Let’s Be Upfront. What’s Your Plan for Performance TV?

Upfronts and NewFronts season is here, and brands are shelling out billions to secure coveted branding-buys. But where does performance fit in?

Let’s Be Upfront. What’s Your Plan for Performance TV?

4 Min Read

What’s up with NewFronts, and what’s new with the Upfronts? The ad industry’s event of the year is in full swing, as brands open up their wallets to snap up some deals—and we’re talking about some generous discounts. Last year, Ad Age revealed that TV ad prices during the upfronts are up to 20-40% lower during this time. Meanwhile, digital media brands ready their pitches and presentations for another ad buy frenzy at the NewFronts, digital media’s answer to the Upfronts (last year, digital made up 47% of all ad buys). Yes, advertisers generate massive value from these upfront ad buys, but can you really know how valuable your campaigns are without a performance strategy up your sleeve, too?

Big Picture Thinking on the Small Screen

The first upfronts presentation took place in 1962, and while the annual tradition has stayed constant through the decades, the TV advertising industry certainly hasn’t. Thanks to streaming (or Connected TV, as we like to say), we’ve seen television advertising branch into two trains of thought: branding / awareness and performance. The first is one that most advertisers—and most people in general—associate most with television, a “spray and pray” approach where your ad is screened in front of millions of viewers, with the hope that someone will resonate with your message…eventually. Then there’s the second approach, which we like to call Performance TV. This method drives direct, measurable outcomes via Connected TV advertising—all while making sure that your message connects directly with in-market viewers. The ultimate goal? Drive more traffic, conversions, and revenue, and tie these marketing metrics to your advertising efforts.

The industry is quickly catching on, too: 65% of marketers polled in an Advertising Week and MNTN survey see CTV as a performance marketing channel. Don’t get us wrong—we’re not suggesting you abandon your Upfront or NewFront strategy altogether; it definitely has its place. Instead, think of Performance TV as your third rail, a tool charged to complement and enhance your existing strategy. 

Performance and Branding: Get the Best of Both Worlds

Sam Bloom, Chief Executive Officer of marketing and media agency Camelot, spoke to the Wall Street Journal recently about how Connected TV might change the way advertisers treat their Upfront and NewFront buys, and tread caution when picking the right media partner. “Buyers have to keep in mind the objectives of [media measurement providers], and whether they might be trying to be more performance media-based or brand-based, when choosing how to measure and what player to use to best do that.”

The best part is that brands can achieve both through Performance TV. Metrics might be front and center, but this strategy can also boost brand awareness at the same time—imagine spray and pray, minus the pray. This brings us to the big question: what does Performance TV look like in the context of your overall Upfronts strategy? Performance TV’s long list of merits make it an easy choice for brands to get onboard—but it also requires the right tech stack to make it happen. Which is why it’s important for advertisers to seek out one that automates most of the process and does most of the heavy lifting, from reaching the right audience to creative production.

Mastermind Your Performance With Purpose-Built Creative

A term we like to use hand-in-hand with Performance TV is Purpose-built creative. This type of asset is designed specifically to support the campaigns that we’re seeing succeed on CTV—think clear CTAs, prominent URLs, value props that pop, and messaging that utilizes messaging informed by past campaigns. MNTN’s Creative-as-a-Subscription™ service takes all of these into account and wraps it into one neat package for advertisers, by helping to streamline production and generate more performance-enhanced creative—for less. Studies show that advertisers who employ this approach drive 49% higher conversion rates and 35% higher paid social conversion rates as it works to lift the performance across your other owned channels. 

Performance TV Season Is Year-Round

Your favorite TV shows are all getting a reboot—could your TV advertising strategy do with one, too? Luckily, you don’t need to wait around for Upfronts or NewFronts season to make it happen. The best part about Performance TV solutions like MNTN: getting onboard is as turnkey as launching a campaign on any other marketing channel. And that’s something we can all get behind (or shall we say…upfront?).

Other CTV News You Need to Know: