LOS ANGELES — The major selling point of connected TV ad capability is targeting individual viewers or households based off actual viewing data.

But what if that practice were just a house of cards?

In this video interview with Denise Colella for Beet.TV, Scott Schiller, Global Chief Commercial Officer, ENGINE, says ad industry executives fail to understand how the way young people really consume media often corrupts the reliability of viewing data.

Cognitive bias = disconnect

“Ninety percent of the students in my classes don’t pay for their (streaming) subscription,” says Schiller, who is also Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Stern business school.

“The data that comes off of that info (thanks to) the sharing that happens today in the streaming space … how can it be right? How can we base our assumptions on that?

“We did a study at Engine that shows that, even in CTV, people find half the commercials not to be contextually relevant. So when you think about those things, the answer’s ‘no’.”

Alarming assumptions

Colella, formerly SVP of advanced advertising and data at NBCUniversal, called Schiller’s observation “very alarming”.

He said, often, the industry makes faulty assumptions and is occupied with measurement but misses the true context.

“Inertia is a very powerful thing,” Schiller says. “In digital we’ve learned how to count a lot of stuff, we’ve learned the importance of measuring the effectiveness, but the balance is still off.

“We’ve got to go back to the roots of the industry and put a little gut into decision-making processes.”

Scott Schiller to the TV Industry: “Be Open to Change, Be Ready, There Are No Sacred Cows”

Engine revs up

Engine Group had previously grown with an assortment of agencies under its wing, including operating in programmatic.

But, under CEO Kasha Cacy’s leadership, the group has evolved into a digital media marketing firm all under the Engine brand,

The group offers data and insights, digital transformation, innovation, integrated advertising and public relations.

Fancy vs felines

Schiller brought to life the importance of contextual relevance.

“If you’re a cat owner, cats on skateboards is the Super Bowl,” he says. “Everyone forgets that because everyone says, ‘Well, my fancy TV show that was engineered with agents and actors and production values is better because it’s better’ – and it’s just not the case.

“You have to remember, ultimately, the word ‘premium’, (as in) ‘premium content’, is in the eyes and hearts of the consumer.”

You are watching coverage from Beet Retreat Santa Monica 2021, presented by FreeWheel, IRIS.TV, Samba TV, TransUnion & Warner Music Group. For more videos, please visit this page.