LOS ANGELES – The massive shift in television viewing habits during the pandemic has led advertisers to explore ways to reach audiences through connected devices like smart TVs and mobile phones. As marketers prepare for the next upfront sales season, they’re more focused on finding opportunities to engage consumers through connected TV (CTV) platforms.

“We’re not planning linear-first, for the first time, which is a major milestone as the industry progresses,” Kelly Metz, managing director of advanced TV activation at Omnicom Media Group, said in this interview with consultant Zach Rodgers at Beet.TV’s Beet Retreat. “We have new tools that we’ve rolled out that acknowledge CTV and streaming is an equal partner to linear television.”

‘Total Video’ Approach

Omnicom is taking a “total video” approach with its clientele in their media plans. That includes a greater emphasis on reaching households and understanding how consumers use their connected devices to view programming.

This approach comes as the audience for traditional linear TV is shrinking and becoming more concentrated among older-skewing households that “watch a lot of live TV,” Metz said. The change in viewing habits has challenged advertisers to avoid too many ad airings that reach the same audiences on linear TV.

“The reality of frequency in linear is it’s actually getting worse. It’s not going to get better,” Metz said. “You’re going to hit those households quite a few times whether you want to or not. It’s very difficult to control.”

Omnicom has developed a set of tools to measure ad campaigns across a variety of screens, encompassing linear and digital video.

“We’re going to see much better results coming in 2022-23 as a result of being able to do this for the first time,” Metz said.

CTV Standards Initiative

There is a broader need for advertisers and media owners to develop common standards for ad viewability. Omnicom is pushing its CTV Standards Initiative to help define ad measurement.

“It would be great to know how we’re all managing reach and frequency,” Metz said. “Are we doing it at the household level? We feel that’s the only thing we can do with accuracy right now.”

She said she’s curious to see how people-level measurement solutions evolve to supplement or replace household-level metrics.

“Everyone’s got to do this together. It can’t just be us out there,” Metz said. “We’re hoping with the standards initiative, people start to align and sign on.”

She also would to see competing measurement services emerge as advertisers seek a cross-channel currency.

“We want to make sure we have at least three options going forward,” Metz said. “Three is a very reasonable number that supports enough competition in the industry to keep everyone innovating and moving forward, but also keeps things realistic and on point and lets our operational teams do what they need to do to make sure everyone gets paid and advertising is served.”

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