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How to Make an Ad Go Viral (It’s Easier Than You Think)

MNTN and Ad Age Discuss the Opportunities of CTV’s Great Ad Rush

How to Make an Ad Go Viral (It’s Easier Than You Think)

4 Min Read

As an advertiser, you’ve probably noticed that Connected TV ads demand has been surging recently. Viewership is at record levels, more streaming services are announcing ad-supported offerings, and those ad-tiers are often outperforming the higher-priced premium subscriptions. As a result, ads are being watched more than ever, and brands are scrambling to keep up with demand. The good news? More eyes on your ad means more opportunities for it to go viral – if you’re thinking strategically.

Lexi Tierney, Senior Director of Customer Success at MNTN, and Meg Ciarallo, VP of Brand and Consumer Marketing at Bolt, recently met up with Ad Age to discuss brands’ need for more high-performing creative, what the great CTV ad rush means for marketers, and how CTV’s features are naturally making viral, sharable moments. If you missed it, a recording of the webinar can be found here—or you can keep reading for a high-level view of some of the insights shared.

“There’s a Reason Why We’re Nerding Out Over CTV”

CTV’s time of being an up-and-coming contender in advertising is long over. Once a fledgling platform that offered a lot of promise, it has since become a crucial tool for brands and advertisers. “As marketers, there’s a reason why we’re all nerding out over CTV,” said Tierney. “It’s everything we loved about TV ads with the things we loved about digital marketing. Now you can have that ad experience but it’s tailored to an audience.”

Not only can CTV target and deliver the right ads to the right viewers, but it’s also uniquely positioned as a platform to boost conversions, spark conversations, and create viral moments. Video is still the most effective tool for advertisers, with 95% of an ad’s message being retained by viewers when it’s watched (as opposed to 10% retained when it’s read). This effectiveness, along with CTV’s targeting capabilities, means that viewers are more likely to pay attention – and share an ad with friends and family. “A/B testing, targeting different audiences with different messages, retargeting campaigns, dynamic optimization…these are all opportunities to reach all types of users on CTV,” noted Tierney.

CTV is Getting More Advertiser-Friendly

Not only are viewers embracing advertisers on Connected TV, but streaming services are doing the same too. As viewers cut the cord and stream more than ever, services are publicly embracing an ad-friendly environment. Recent platforms that have created or announced AVOD tiers include Disney+, HBO Max, and most recently (and notably) Netflix – a service that once prided itself on not having ads. These ad-supported offerings often outperform their premium counterparts thanks to both subscription fatigue and viewers looking for more affordable options. 73% of consumers polled say they prefer ad-supported CTV viewing, and 60% of viewers prefer shows with ads customized to them.

With so many more avenues for advertising on CTV, how are brands finding the budget to increase their video output? “CTV is a critical part of the marketer’s media mix,” noted Tierney. “To keep up with demand, brands are not dialing back on CTV spending – they’re looking to see where they can shift budgets from. We don’t all have the opportunity to have unlimited budgets so we need to decide how to effectively move ad dollars to drive performance.” The two categories most advertisers are pulling their budget from and applying toward CTV – linear TV and social media.

But What If Your Ad Budget is Smaller?

Reallocating budgets from other marketing buckets may work for larger brands, but what about smaller to mid-sized ones that don’t have much of a marketing budget to begin with? While CTV has democratized TV advertising for brands of all sizes, not having creative remains a barrier for many. Advertisers often assume their inability to fund video creative, let alone produce enough to keep up with demand, means they’re locked out of CTV. Thankfully, that assumption couldn’t be more wrong.

“A lot of advertisers are wondering, ‘Can I do this? Do I have the time or money?’ One thing I love about working at MNTN is we found a way to solve that,” shared Tierney. MNTN has several solutions to help brands achieve CTV success, regardless of what their existing video library looks like. QuickFrame by MNTN, a leading video creation and insights platform, helps brands scale their video output and keep up with video demand. Creative-as-a-Subscription gives advertisers the ability to have high-quality creative made for them just for committing to media purchases. And MNTN Performance TV helps brands create viral moments by only deploying creative on premium networks, giving brands transparent reporting to track viewer activity, and performance optimization to automatically hit your goals.

Watch the Full Webinar for More

There’s much more to Tierney’s conversation with Ad Age, including a robust Q&A session that had her fielding questions like how to determine when video output needs to be increased and how often creative should be refreshed. To get all of Lexi’s insights, as well as get a first-hand account of how Bolt used CTV to create a viral moment, watch the full recording here

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