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Contextual TV: a new era in advertising


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Contextual targeting paves the way for smart, selective TV advertising writes Sydney Vieira, Head of Customer Success at 7thMinute

Last year, Integral Ad Science released 'The Context Effect', its biometric research into contextual advertising. Conducted with neuro-analytics company Neuro-Insight it examined brain activity in response to ads that were contextually matched.  And the results showed that the memorability of an ad can be increased by up to 40% by placing it in a relevant context.

These findings demonstrate why context - in terms of a viewer being in a frame of mind that is receptive to the message in question - is a regular on the advertising agenda, with an increasing focus being put on contextual targeting segments derived from language.  

Despite the huge influence that TV wields over how people behave, what they buy, and how they discuss and perceive brands, contextual targeting for television has remained elusive; with advertisers typically reliant on show titles, genre and panel data for audience targeting. Given the ‘heavy lifting’ that contextual does for advertising, this barrier to brands appearing in a contextually relevant slot on television is frustrating.

But the status quo is changing.

Classifying TV content

Image recognition and transcription technology can convert TV content into usable data that is processed, contextualised, and organised. This results in a database that can be analysed and queried to determine when a mention happens on TV and the meaning behind it.

This makes it possible to identify trending topics and undertake trend analysis over time to understand when relevant conversations happen and what drives them. Classifying TV content in this new and granular way is rooted in context, and it provides brands with the insight to drive smart advertising campaigns.

Knowing when to put an ad in front of someone at a time when they are already engaged with the offering, or a related topic, is a hugely powerful marketing tool. Contextually led TV advertising strategies are more effective and efficient because they are focused on targeting people when they are already receptive to hearing about a brand – and are more likely to respond to the message.


Smart, selective advertising

Marketers often prefer ‘always on’ advertising strategies so that the brand is likely to be front-of-mind should a consumer decide to make a purchase (despite the strong argument that showing people ads on a continual basis does not enhance their effectiveness).

In pinpointing the best times to advertise, contextual targeting has the potential to change this mindset and move to a ‘less is more’ approach. This opens up opportunities that feel particularly pertinent in the current – challenging – climate.

Selective advertising to an already-warm audience does not require the vast budgets usually associated with TV; a smart, contextual approach therefore opens the channel to a wide variety of previously excluded players because they do not have to run campaigns on a permanent basis to be effective.

This tactic is also significant as we enter a period of economic uncertainty. Brands are always urged against reducing ad budgets during difficult times, but as rising inflation forces consumers to cut spending, this is looking increasingly unrealistic. However, in using insight on when TV advertising spend will be most effective, contextual advertising offers a salve to brands looking for ways to maintain their connection with their consumers.

The importance of context has never been under-estimated; today we have the technology and tools to bring contextual targeting to TV advertising. In a marketing channel that has traditionally had many barriers to entry, more brands are now able to put their message in front of the right people at a time when it will be most effective.

In advertising selectively, and choosing relevance over quantity, brands have new routes to creating connections with their audiences.

By Sydney Vieira, Head of Customer Success


Discover brand, product & industry mentions on TV. Get unique insights you can use to understand when people talk about your brand, product & industry on TV.

Posted on: Friday 2 September 2022