MARCO ISLAND, FL — One of the world’s biggest consumer goods companies, one with a rich heritage in TV brand-building, is getting excited about the capabilities and tricks of the new, internet-powered TV.

With brands like Persil and Cif, Unilever is a big media spender.

In this video interview with Beet.TV at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, Aaron Sobol, Head of Media Investment & Partnerships, Unilever, describes what he is seeing as an emerging palette of opportunity.

The Living Room as a Shopping Hub

“The living room is growing in terms of engagement, which should lead to a lot of opportunity in the future if we provide the right experience to the consumer,” Sobol says.

Sobol highlights the advancements in streaming experiences, particularly in live sports. “Think about the growth in live sports and streaming environments. Really exciting,” he says.

The NFL playoffs and news of WWE’s live streaming presence signal a shift in how consumers can interact with live events through digital platforms. Sobol is among the advertisers keen to tap into a highly engaged audience.

AI-Driven Shoppable Formats

The interactivity that streaming platforms offer is becoming more sophisticated, with Sobol noting, “We’re seeing AI influence some of the shoppable formats that are out there.”

This technological integration allows for smarter, more personalized shopping experiences that can transform a viewer’s engagement with an advertisement into an immediate purchase, minimizing friction in the consumer journey.

He points out that with the array of creative formats available, marketers can leverage these to engage consumers effectively. “There’s a lot of creative potential to take advantage as a marketer of these many formats that exist,” Sobol asserts.

Engagement Levels as a Key Metric

What will the new environment look like? Sobol suggests a focus on engagement metrics. “We look at engagement levels that are happening in the living room, and we can compare it across engagement levels that are happening across all different screens,” he explains.

Sobol believes that the experiences brands offer should be tailored to their specific audience and content affiliations. “Those are all different things that we should be thinking about as a marketer and as the industry,” he says, emphasizing the importance of making informed decisions about where and how to place brands in front of the right audience.

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.