They may be natively digital, but the new wave of direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce brands is being built, in large part, through advertising on television.

And one major TV network’s ad sales chief says the old box in the corner can give these sorts of brands the digital capabilities they need.

“If you look at something like Chewy.com or Wayfair, these are brands that four or five years ago nobody had really heard of,” says Jo Ann Ross, CBS president and chief advertising officer, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“They turned to broadcast television and to television to get that message out there, to build their brands, to build awareness.”

In January, eMarketer counted more than 400 D2C brands operating in the US. IAB analyzed 250 of them.

An umbrella group, VAB, in a recent report, has observed how D2C companies it tracks hiked their TV spending by 60% last year, bringing the total up to $3.8 billion.

The “why?” behind that trend is interesting. Because the new D2C brands don’t just want mass reach – they want to attribute TV ad exposure to online visitation, and beyond.

“A lot of them are going to be (asking) ‘How many clicks (did we get)?’, but then ‘How many clicks go through to an order?’, ‘How many people visit the site?’,” Ross adds. “And they can measure that.

“It’s really about the immediacy and finding out, very quickly, if your advertising is working and where it’s working.”

She says D2C brands like new-wave, connected TV because they can be sure their ad is seen in its entirety – not necessarily something you can say of pre-roll or scroll-through digital video ads, or web display ads.

This video is from a Beet.TV ‘s coverage of the VAB’s Direct to Success summit held on June 12 at Viacom in New York City.   Please visit this page for more segments.     

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