ClickCease CTV Advertising Guide: Reaching a Connected TV Audience | Mediatool

CTV Advertising Guide: Reaching a Connected TV Audience


CTV Advertising

What is CTV Advertising?

Connected TV (CTV) advertising is a new-age method of delivering ads directly to internet-connected televisions. Unlike traditional TV advertising that relies on broadcast or cable TV, CTV advertising leverages digital technologies and the power of the internet. With the proliferation of smart TVs and devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and gaming consoles, CTV advertising is gaining rapid traction.

In digital advertising, CTV advertising stands out as it merges the traditional TV experience with the precision of digital audience targeting. Brands now use CTV ad campaigns to boost brand awareness, especially since the cost per completed view (CPCV) is often more favorable than other platforms.

Connected TV (CTV viewership)

The landscape of television consumption has evolved over the years. Traditional television, primarily dependent on cable or satellite subscriptions, is gradually being replaced by connected TV (CTV) devices. This transition is evident when considering that nearly nine out of ten U.S. television households possess at least one connected TV device. With the rise of streaming services and the prevalence of internet connection, more households are shifting towards CTV. These devices allow viewers to stream content and offer a platform for advertisers to showcase their digital advertising campaigns.

The switch to CTV viewing indicates a significant change in audience habits. This shift is reflected in how advertisers are adjusting their ad spend. Rather than focusing solely on traditional TV advertising, many brands now see the value in CTV advertising platforms where connected TV ads can be shown directly to their target audience.

CTV Advertising vs. OTT Advertising

While OTT (Over-the-Top) and CTV are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences. OTT refers to delivering video content over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite TV. Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are classic examples of OTT. On the other hand, CTV refers to devices – smart TVs, streaming devices like Fire TV Stick, or gaming consoles that allow OTT content to be played. Hence, while OTT focuses on content, CTV emphasizes the device.

OTT and CTV advertising, combined, offer advertisers a comprehensive strategy. OTT’s focus on content means brands can choose specific shows or streaming platforms to place their ads, while CTV’s emphasis on devices means that ads can be tailored based on users’ device behavior and preferences.

CTV Advertising vs. Addressable TV Advertising

Addressable TV advertising allows advertisers to segment audiences based on specific demographics or viewing habits and deliver tailored ads. Unlike the broad reach of traditional linear TV advertising, addressable TV targets specific households. In contrast, CTV advertising leverages internet-connected devices and uses first-party data to serve personalized ads to users based on their online behavior.

Additionally, while addressable TV advertising segments cable or satellite subscribers, CTV advertising work can be more granular. CTV ad platforms use detailed analytics to determine who sees a particular ad. This ensures advertising work is more targeted and can lead to better ROI, given the precision of audience targeting.

CTV Advertising vs. Linear TV Advertising

Linear TV advertising is the traditional format where ads are aired during scheduled commercial breaks. Advertisers usually buy slots based on Gross Rating Point (GRP). In CTV advertising, the focus shifts to precision targeting. With features like hyper-localized IP-based targeting, CTV ads can be customized for specific audiences, ensuring higher engagement and better ROI.

The evolution from linear TV to CTV advertising has been fueled by the rise in streaming TV services and the desire of advertisers to reach specific audience segments. Advertisers are no longer content with traditional TV’s broad, scattergun approach. They seek a method where their ad spending yields more direct results. With a CTV advertising campaign, they can serve interactive ads to a defined audience, making the most of every ad dollar.

How Does Connected TV Advertising Work?

Connected TV advertising work is rooted in digital marketing principles. Advertisers choose a CTV advertising platform and upload their creative. They then define the target audience and execute the campaign. Advanced algorithms and audience targeting strategies ensure the ad reaches the desired demographic. One can measure the success using metrics like cost per completed view.

With the rise of smart TVs and devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV, CTV has become an indispensable platform for advertisers to reach their target audience. As with traditional TV advertising, content, and context matter, but what sets the CTV advertising platform apart is its unique ability to leverage first-party data for precision targeting. This enables brands to craft hyper-relevant campaigns, optimizing ad spend and maximizing ROI.

Understanding how connected TV advertising works is essential for brands looking to capture the attention of the modern viewer. Digital advertising campaigns on CTV devices can be fine-tuned in real time. This flexibility, coupled with the rich data available, ensures that ads shown are relevant to the viewer’s preferences and online behavior, leading to higher video completion rates. Viewer acceptance of advertising on connected platforms is evident in different regions.

A recent study revealed that 65% of connected TV viewers in the UK are open to viewing ads if it means accessing SVOD content at no charge. This demonstrates a significant shift in viewer perception, highlighting that audiences are willing to engage with ads in exchange for free, quality content.

Connected TV Advertising and OTT Markets Grow Exponentially

With over 80% of U.S. households having at least one streaming service subscription and CTV viewers on average watching 1 hour and 51 minutes of content per day, the rise of streaming platforms is unmistakable.

As more households ditch traditional TV and move to streaming platforms, both the connected TV and OTT markets are witnessing exponential growth. This shift offers ample opportunities for advertisers. With advanced tools for media buying and ad spend optimization, brands can effectively harness the potential of CTV advertising campaigns. In 2023, expectations were set for the CTV ad expenditure in the U.S. to exceed 25 billion U.S. dollars, marking a substantial growth of 21.2 percent from the previous year.

The surge in streaming services and the increase in smart and connected TV adoption signify the dawn of a new era for TV consumption. It’s a landscape where connected TV devices and OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu dominate. For advertisers, this change in consumption patterns provides an opportunity to reach audiences who are increasingly becoming cord-cutters or cord-nevers, moving away from cable TV and traditional television.

The growth of the connected TV audience presents new challenges and opportunities for brands. Advertisers must familiarize themselves with the nuances of CTV ad campaigns, ensuring their messages are crafted effectively for this digital platform. Ad spending in this sector is expected to rise as brands recognize the potential of reaching an engaged audience through streaming content.

Benefits of Connected TV Advertising

CTV Benefits

  1. Accurate, Real-Time Measurement and Attribution: CTV provides real-time feedback. Advertisers can track metrics like video completion rates and adjust their strategies accordingly.
  2. High Video Completion Rates: CTV ads generally have higher completion rates than other digital advertising formats. This is because viewers are more engaged when watching TV content.
  3. Optimizing Audience Targeting: Using first-party data, CTV advertising platforms offer sophisticated audience targeting, ensuring the right people see ads.

Unlike traditional linear TV advertising, CTV advertising allows for immediate campaign adjustments based on performance metrics. This agility ensures that brands can refine their strategies on the go, enhancing engagement and boosting ad-supported video content viewership.

As viewers transition from traditional TV to internet-connected devices, they seek more personalized and relevant content. This has led advertisers to prioritize connected TV ads, which offer enhanced targeting capabilities, leading to improved brand awareness and increased ROI.

Examples of CTV Ad Types

  • In-stream Video Ads: These ads play before, during, or after the streaming content.
  • Interactive Ads: Allows users to engage with the ad, offering a more immersive experience.
  • Addressable Ads: These are tailored based on specific demographics or viewing habits, allowing advertisers to target individual households or user profiles. This ensures a higher level of personalization and can significantly improve engagement rates.
  • Sequential Ads: This format enables brands to show a series of ads to a viewer in a specific order, promoting storytelling or showcasing multiple product features across different ad slots. This strategy can enhance the viewer’s connection with the ad, leading to better brand recall.

How Can CTV Advertising Drive Leads Beyond Brand Awareness?

Apart from building brand awareness, CTV advertising can drive leads by incorporating call-to-action within the ads. With features like interactive ads, viewers can directly engage with brands, making it a powerful tool for lead generation.

The interactive nature of CTV ads offers advertisers an edge over traditional formats. For instance, viewers can click on a product shown in an ad, leading them directly to a purchase page. This seamless integration between viewing and shopping reduces friction and can significantly boost conversion rates.

With the integration of voice-activated assistants in many smart TVs, mobile phones, and devices, there’s potential for even more interactive and engaging advertising experiences. Imagine a scenario where viewers can vocally express interest in a product, and the system automatically provides more information or even facilitates a purchase. The next step in CTV advertising is passive viewing and immersive, interactive experiences.

(Smart TVs) Connected TV Performance Measuring

Performance in CTV advertising is gauged using multiple metrics. Cost per completed view, video completion rate, and frequency caps are crucial in understanding campaign effectiveness.

Beyond traditional metrics, the evolution of smart TVs and connected devices has allowed advertisers to gain deeper insights into viewer behavior. With an internet connection, smart TV data can be analyzed in real-time, allowing for adjustments to campaigns as they run. This real-time feedback and the ability to pivot is a considerable advantage over traditional linear TV advertising, where feedback loops are slower.

The vast array of connected TV devices, from Amazon Fire Stick to gaming consoles, provides multiple touchpoints for advertisers. These devices gather vast amounts of data, from what content is being watched to how often. Using this data, advertisers can refine their strategies and ensure they get the most bang for their ad spending.

5 Key Advantages of CTV Advertising

  1. Hyper Localized IP-Based Targeting: Ads can be delivered based on specific geographic locations.
  2. Responsive Audiences: As CTV audiences are actively engaged, response rates are generally higher.
  3. Ad-supported Video Content: Allows brands to place ads within popular streaming content, ensuring higher visibility.
  4. First-Party Data Utilization: Offers better audience insights and precise targeting.
  5. Flexible Ad Spending: Unlike traditional TV, where slots are pre-booked, CTV advertising allows for dynamic budget allocations.

Another significant advantage of CTV advertising is its ability to integrate seamlessly with other digital advertising campaigns. For example, viewers might see an ad on their smart TV and later encounter the same ad or a retargeted version on their mobile phone or desktop computer. This multi-device approach ensures brand awareness and message consistency.

Where Are Connected TV Ads Shown?

Connected TV ads are displayed on a variety of platforms. Whether it’s popular streaming services like Netflix or device-specific platforms like Apple TV or Amazon Fire, CTV ads find a place everywhere.

The landscape of CTV ads across devices and streaming services is ever-expanding. Beyond the heavyweights like Netflix, newer ad-supported platforms have emerged, creating more avenues for CTV ads to be shown. Additionally, as more households opt for smart TVs over traditional television sets, the reach of CTV advertising will only continue to grow.

How Are Connected TV Audiences Targeted?

Audience targeting in CTV is multi-faceted. Advertisers can target their audience using first-party data, behavioral insights, and other metrics. The focus is not just on demographic data but also on viewers’ online behavior and preferences.

Addressable TV advertising is another rising trend within the connected TV advertising realm. This allows advertisers to deliver tailored ads to specific households, ensuring the right message reaches the right audience. Through advanced algorithms, predictive modeling, and utilization of vast amounts of data, CTV advertising platforms are enhancing the precision of audience targeting.

Important Metrics and Measurements for CTV Advertising

While metrics like cost per completed view and video completion rate are essential, it’s also crucial to consider GRP (Gross Rating Point) and other traditional TV metrics to get a comprehensive view of the campaign’s effectiveness.

In the age of digital marketing and internet-connected devices, newer metrics have emerged that offer more profound insights. For instance, measuring the engagement rates of interactive ads, tracking the number of times an ad was paused or rewound, or analyzing the click-through rates of CTV ads can provide invaluable data for advertisers.

Best Practices to Follow with Smart Television Ads

Advertising on smart TVs, primarily through Connected TV (CTV) platforms, offers a unique opportunity to engage audiences in their living rooms. However, certain best practices should be adhered to to ensure the efficacy of your CTV advertising campaigns.

Let’s take a closer look into these strategies:

Ensure the Creative is Optimized for TV Screens

1. Design for Larger Displays: While many digital ads are designed for mobile or desktop viewing, smart TV ads must be optimized for bigger screens. This includes ensuring that visuals are clear and text is legible from a distance.

2. Quality Over Quantity: High-definition and 4K screens are common in modern households. Thus, it’s essential that the creative content, including videos and images, is of the highest quality to prevent pixelation or blurring on larger screens.

3. Consider Audio Elements: Sound plays a pivotal role in the television viewing experience. Ensure that your ad has clear, high-quality audio. Voiceovers and background music should be balanced, ensuring one doesn’t overpower the other.

Utilize First-Party Data for Audience Targeting

1. Personalized Experiences: Using first-party data, which is information collected directly from your audience, you can tailor ads to specific viewer preferences and behaviors. This leads to a more personalized and engaging viewing experience.

2. Data Privacy: Always comply with data privacy regulations when using first-party data. This not only protects the consumer but also strengthens trust in your brand.

3. Enhanced Segmentation: First-party data can help segment audiences based on purchase history, content preferences, and more. This segmentation allows for more targeted and relevant advertising.

Maintain Frequency Caps to Avoid Overexposure

1. Avoid Ad Fatigue: Overexposing your audience to the same ad can lead to ad fatigue, reducing effectiveness. Setting a frequency cap ensures your ad is not shown to the same viewer too often.

2. Diversify Ad Creatives: Along with setting frequency caps, rotating different ad creatives is beneficial. This provides a fresh perspective and keeps the audience engaged.

3. Monitor and Adjust: Track how often your ads are shown. If engagement drops or there’s a spike in ad skips, it might be time to reassess your frequency settings.

Test and Iterate Based on Real-time Feedback

AB Testing

1. A/B Testing: Use A/B testing to try out different ad versions, whether it’s a change in the call-to-action, visual elements, or audio components. Monitor which version resonates more with the audience.

2. Real-time Analytics: Platforms today offer real-time analytics. You can make immediate adjustments to optimize effectiveness by constantly monitoring your ads’ performance.

3. Encourage Feedback: Create channels where viewers can provide feedback on your ads. This could be through direct surveys or social media platforms. Direct feedback can offer invaluable insights that can guide future campaigns.


As the media landscape evolves rapidly, the significance of understanding and adapting to the nuances of video advertising on connected devices cannot be overstated. The paradigm shift from traditional linear TV to streaming platforms and internet-connected devices heralds a new era of audience engagement. Advertisers must harness the unique opportunities presented by this digital transformation, ensuring that their messages resonate effectively across diverse platforms. Embracing this shift offers enhanced audience targeting and promises a more immersive and personalized viewing experience for the end user. As the lines between traditional TV and digital content continue to blur, staying ahead in this dynamic environment will be the key to sustained success in video advertising.

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