CPG Brands: Embrace Advanced TV in 2019

By David Wyler, Media Center of Excellence, IRI


“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
- Mark Twain


In its inception, TV was synonymous with content that combined sight, sound and motion, packaged up, distributed and viewed through a single appliance. Over the past several years, content and distribution increasingly have been de-bundled, as video content is now viewed across a growing number of devices. 

“Advanced TV” is a newer term to indicate TV that is more targetable and measurable. First or third party transactional or behavioral data can now be used in place of age/gender proxies to plan and execute advertising campaigns in order to better reach the high-value audiences that advertisers covet. Evaluating the overall performance of targets, placements and creative messaging can occur more frequently and help drive efficacy of media investment.

A more apt descriptor for “TV” these days may be “video,” and generally -- although not exclusively -- long-form video – professionally-produced content that’s targeted to either many households (i.e. data-driven or optimized linear TV), a single household and the people living there based on specific attributes, (i.e. Addressable TV, or Over-the-Top (OTT)), or a single device which may represent one or more individuals (i.e. OTT or digital video).

For brands that are anxious about wading in, there are several points of entry, loosely ranked from largest to smallest platform in terms of total advertising inventory.

Data-Driven Linear

Most TV advertising across broadcast and cable TV is via linear, and networks are increasingly incorporating purchase behavior to plan and execute TV campaigns. A marketer must choose audience targets that make sense given its size and the goals of the campaign. A very high penetration brand intent on driving $’s per occasion or number of occasions may choose to target its own brand buyers (Verified Audiences), whereas a smaller brand trying to increase penetration will, by necessity, leverage a Complete Audience which blends actual and high-propensity-to-purchase category buyers (Verified Audiences + ProScores Audiences) to achieve its goals.

While networks typically need a target of at least 10 million households to plan a campaign, more experimentation is needed as it relates to which audiences should be combined to create a target, and how large the target ought to be. Unlike programmatically executed digital (in which individuals IDs are targeted) or Addressable and OTT (in which individual households are cherry-picked), an optimized linear campaign is “the expression” of your target audience across a broad schedule, not the target audience in isolation. Theoretically speaking, a perfectly-targeted campaign will deliver many households outside a brand’s specific target. That’s a good thing, as even out-of-target households purchase your products. A marketer must consider how to execute linear TV campaigns, not only to maximize sales, but also to leverage the strength of its broad reach and engagement to build long-term equity.


Addressable gives brands the opportunity to target and deliver advertising based on specific, household-level, targeting criteria and to develop tactical insights and learnings that can be applied more broadly to TV and non-TV investment. A CPG marketer can choose to focus on only a portion of a cable or satellite provider’s (also known as an MVPD) footprint. It may decide, for example, to target ads to households comprised of its most loyal customers, or verified buyers, and its competitor’s customers.
With addressable, marketers can marketers target granularly and assess the performance of each of those segments relative to households that either weren’t exposed to the media or weren’t among one of the targets.  Advertisers can discover which segments are most responsive to the ads, which ads drive the greatest incremental sales, and which creative executions are most effective.  These learnings inform how to execute future addressable campaigns with the same or other MVPDs, what audiences to use for linear TV planning, as well as targeting for other digital channels.

Over the Top (OTT)
While ad-free services like Netflix and Amazon Prime helped introduce many consumers to OTT, ad-supported services from Hulu, Roku, Sling TV and others are also gaining traction and growing subscribers. Streaming technology combined with expansive targeting data sets aimed at cord-cutters and cord-nevers means that marketers also need to begin to invest in OTT to engage consumers that are hard to reach using linear TV alone.

The Future
While broader reach TV (one-to-many households) and more targeted TV (one-to-one households) are somewhat distinct tactics, marketers are supplementing their linear buys with addressable TV to ensure their communication goals are met. This will become even easier to do in the near future as both the number of addressable households in the U.S. increase, and MVPD partnerships designed to encourage one-stop shopping for addressable inventory take hold and simplify campaign execution.

As OTT continues to mature and it becomes easier to source OTT advertising inventory, marketers will have more flexibility in coordinating their buys across all three swim lanes. It’s critical that marketers in partnership with their agencies immediately begin to create learning agendas and start working with transactional data to plan, execute and measure optimized linear, addressable and OTT campaigns in order to develop a deeper understanding of how to architect better outcomes across video.

Want to learn more about how you can use TV more effectively for your campaigns? Contact me at David.Wyler@IRIworldwide.com or reach out to your IRI representative.