Forget Expensive Ad Seconds on Linear TV, Digital Is all the RageBy Nicolás Brandoni | Mon, 05/02/2022 - 13:00
There was a time, not so long ago, when linear TV was THE place to advertise. So much so, that it ended up being very expensive and very exclusive. Only a handful of brands could advertise on prime time, when every second was worth a fortune. But that world is no more and now opportunities for brands lie elsewhere: on digital and livestreaming channels.
The advantages of these new (or not so new) formats are overwhelming, and not just because that’s where audiences are nowadays (although, granted, this is a very important point). Whereas in traditional channels you rely on ratings as a way to gauge how many people are going to see your ad, which means that you don’t really know if people are watching it or just going to the bathroom while you spend a fortune, on digital channels you have many different metrics to know the exact viewership. You can even filter out the people who were surfing a different tab at the moment.
And let’s not forget that advertising on digital channels is a great way to get more information on your potential customers. Just one click and you can see what device they’re using, their location, age, gender and interests. This allows you to collect data and conduct market research at the same time you’re running an ad campaign.
Like linear TV, you can advertise on digital channels in the traditional ways, such as video ads or product placements. But that’s a one-way form of communication where brands send a message but can’t interact with those at the receiving end. It’s just the brand telling people they should like what they offer, without waiting for a reply. This doesn’t allow brands to fine-tune their marketing strategies. It’s like running on faith. But since the arrival of social media, consumers are also part of the conversation. They’ll defend your brand through thick and thin if they like what they get, or they may try to stomp it to the ground if you make a false move. This isn’t anything new, of course, but on linear TV the monologue of the brand continues to be the norm.
On livestreaming channels, brands can, for example, participate in the chat and interact with viewers, offering promotions or just showing they’re one of the cool kids by participating in the conversation. This also “humanizes” a brand, which can now have real and more meaningful interactions with users. Also, the fact that you can interact with the audience allows you to get feedback on your ad campaign a lot faster, and if necessary, react quickly to fix whatever might not be working.
Another way to interact with users is through extensions that allow them to, for example, click on sections of the screen that can take them to a landing page or to an e-commerce site. Let’s say that we’re talking about a livestreaming show and the streamer shows a product on screen. The viewer could, for example, click (or touch) directly on the product in order to get it. Quick and simple.
A great example of this are livestreaming e-commerce shows. Similar to the old “CALL NOW” TV programs, these shows (extremely popular in China, with 464 million users as of December 2021) feature famous influencers recommending different products, which can be bought on the spot with just a couple of clicks. E-commerce giant Alibaba started this trend in 2016 and it picked up steam in the following years as livestreaming technology got better and both users and brands got more used to it.
Livestreaming is still in its infancy. Soon, there will be more advanced ways to interact with the shows and the brands that advertise on them. Augmented reality and the distant but possible promise of VR worlds allow us to imagine a future in which both users and brands can interplay in ways that will make the experience not just easier but also much more engaging. At PEEK, we’re already testing and developing new advertising formats in order to offer the best possible experience for brands. We believe that there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to leave the past behind and join the present before it even becomes the future.