Comcast’s cable TV ad sales unit is launching a new agency dedicated to making creative ad assets for smaller advertisers.

Speaking at Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” , Brendan Condon,  Comcast Spotlight CEO, said: “If you don’t have good creative, your ad’s not going to work … especially when you’re thinking about attribution to digital.

“In the tier of marketers that are mid- to smaller-size, either they don’t have good creative and they need some advice and insights or they don’t have television creative at all.

“We created a team and then we’ll be launching this officially in the next couple of weeks, whereby they’re exclusively focused on being a full-service creative agency for these marketers.”

Successive Beet Retreats have heard of mixed reception for advanced TV advertising techniques, with some large brands slow to put spend in to addressable TV. Lately, however, smaller, direct-to-consumer brands have been adding to their digital ad spend with TV, whilst local cable providers are getting tooled-up to support addressable tactics, including with technology that can attribute consumers’ online actions to their TV ad exposure.

All of that new toolset would seem to require some hand-holding. “In an effort to show that it’s not that hard, we can do that for you and therefore get you on to television,” Condon said.

The move follows a busy month from Comcast Spotlight. Condon spoke with Furious Corp CEO Ashley J. Swartz at Beet Retreat in the City.

Research: viewing booming

Comcast Spotlight just published its Q1 TV Viewership Report, finding TV viewership is at a two-year high, reversing the trend of decline that Comcast Spotlight has seen since it began tracking this data in 2017. The report analyzed nine billion hours of cumulative Comcast platform viewing.

“Not only are (viewers) watching it more but (also) for longer periods of time,” Condon said.” The average television viewer in the Comcast household is watching television for about six hours and 25 minutes every day. It’s remarkable.”

“In 2019, we saw twice the amount of volume in terms of VOD (versus 2016). And that’s up 36% over the prior year.”

Web attribution for TV ads

Spotlight just launched Instant Impact, an analytics software platform that shows the impact on web traffic from airing an ad on Comcast, within 30 minutes of transmission. Initially, Comcast Spotlight rolled it out to car sales advertisers. But now Instant Impact is about to gain wider impact, sold to other kinds of brands.

Condon said he wants local advertisers to start adopting a “marketing funnel” approach, the same way big brands do, which requires drawing a line between initial awareness and measuring an end sale.

“We went all the way down to the local marketplace as well and said, Hey, that should hold true for them as well.” Instant Impact was conceived to answer the question: “How do you prove that the funnel actually works?”

Political campaigns need diversity

With a 2020 presidential election season gearing up, TV ad campaigns will be a focus again. This time, more than ever, household addressability based on available voter data will be well-used tactic. Now couple that with attribution technology which can actually illustrate the online outcomes of candidates TV ads.

But, from its analysis of the 2018 mid-terms, Condon’s TV Viewership Report, showed a broad approach can work best.

“Actually, the winning candidates spent money and time on the top three news networks. They spent less money on the primetime day parts. They spent less money in terms of shorter campaigns. The winners … needed to diversify their network selection. They need to diversify the day parts.

“Fourteen percent of our viewers are watching only the top five networks. That’s 86% of watching everything else. On average, the households are watching 34 different networks in any given month.”

This video is part of a series from the Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” hosted by GroupM Worldwide and sponsored by Amobee, Comcast Spotlight, TVSquared and WideOrbit. Please visit this page for additional segments.