MARCO ISLAND, FL — How do you keep a viewer engaged when it’s commercial break time and their smartphone is just a few inches away?

For Luc Marsolais, the answer lays in innovating the CTV experience.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Marsolais, Chief Operations Officer, Sharethrough, explains what his company is doing about it.

Innovations That Drive Attention

Marsolais says that by integrating related content within advertisements, Sharethrough has observed an uptick in attention. “We were able to see that if we put related content or relative content from the advertisement, it was increasing attention.”

He cites specific examples like sports tickers which shrink the ad but display a live football score, thus retaining the viewer’s focus. “If you are into football, you’re going to have more attention to the ad,” Marsolais asserts.

Additional innovations include countdown overlays for promotions and weather overlays that maintain screen attention—critical in an era where second-screen distractions are rife. “People are going to be taking their phone and losing attention of when a commercial is starting,” he notes, highlighting the challenge CTV faces in retaining viewer engagement.

Who’s Buying In?

The types of clients investing in these advanced ad units span various industries. “Right now it’s national brands… a mix of retail, cars are the biggest channel that we see right with CTV and the food industry as well,” Marsolais says.

According to him, these brands leverage CTV for store promotions, automotive advertising, and global food chains to engage a broader audience.

Quantifying the impact of these innovative ad units is complex but critical. “The measurement is still an issue,” Marsolais admits. However, he outlines multiple methods to gauge performance, from QR code scans to remote interactions like “add to cart” conversions. The correlation between ad exposure and traffic spikes is another indicator, alongside third-party studies from partners that assess ad engagement.

Differentiating Sharethrough in the SSP Market

Sharethrough specializes in facilitating native advertising and programmatic buying. Their platform enables advertisers to distribute their content across various digital channels in a non-disruptive manner, blending with the user experience. The company’s tooling originated in mobile native formats, but has evolved to service CTV.

The technology provides tools for the creation, optimization, and measurement of ad performance, focusing on user engagement. Sharethrough serves marketers, media agencies, and publishers, aiming to offer a more integrated approach to online advertising.

In a crowded field of Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs), Marsolais says: “The differentiation is for Sharethrough has always been to have a seamless and an engaging advertisement,” he explains.

You’re watching ‘Digital Media in Transition’, a Beet.TV Leadership Series at IAB ALM 2024 presented by Sharethrough. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.