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Mar'24·Andrés Auchterlonie·2 MIN

Winning brand safety in today’s evolving CTV advertising landscape

Home Winning brand safety in today’s evolving CTV advertising landscape

Connected TV or CTV advertising is swiftly becoming a core advertising strategy as internet-connected televisions take over households and the interest shifts towards content streaming platforms. Leichtman Research Group reported that 88% of US households own at least one Internet-connected TV device. The number of adults in the United States households who watch videos on a TV via a connected device daily rose from 6% in 2013 to a staggering 49% in 2023. 

Audience inclination toward CTV from traditional television has shifted the spotlight to CTV advertising, making it the next big thing in the ad tech space. Brands need to be where their audiences are and make their presence felt. With the audience dedicating a significant amount of time in their day-to-day to spend on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu; it is only obvious that brands are changing gears in their ad strategies and allocating more budget to CTV ads. 

Beyond just the viewership 

While the rising viewership numbers are an important factor that is shining the light on CTV advertising, another critical aspect is brand safety. Maintaining brand reputation is imperative in today’s chaotic digital landscape where there are myriad stories, news pieces, opinions, and debates. As a more regulated and transparent medium, Connected TV offers a safer space for brands to engage with the audience. 

Brand safety refers to the practice of protecting a brand's online reputation and image by taking steps to prevent its ads from appearing alongside inappropriate or harmful content. For example, no brand would want its ads to appear next to content about hate speech or terrorism. Similarly, a fast food chain will not want ads to appear in an article about heart attacks or a travel company’s ad next to news around layoffs or economic downturns. 

Brand safety and Connected TV (CTV)

A survey revealed that 70% of advertisers felt brand safety incidents impacted their campaigns. It also showed that 67% of brands said they believe they are taking a serious financial risk by not addressing brand safety online. 37% of brands have experienced a brand safety issue and the worldwide advertising dollars wasted due to a lack of brand safety in 2019 was estimated to be $14.8 billion.

While there is transparency in the inventory and regulations in the space, CTV advertising is still a struggle for brands and advertisers when it comes to a buying environment. They need a more in-depth understanding of the inventory and where their ads will appear. With no industry-wide protocols in place yet and a lack of transparency on what marketers are buying, the need of the hour is visibility. Brands and marketers need to be watchful of ad placement to prevent their ads from appearing in inappropriate or harmful environments. 

A mix of reputable inventory sources and contextual relevance is a tactic many brands are opting for to overcome the brand safety issues that the sought-after CTV advertising currently poses. Analyzing and reviewing media buying at a content level can help alleviate brand safety concerns by ensuring the content is not just safe but relevant too. 

With contextual advertising-backed CTV targeting, brands can address both brand safety and brand suitability. By analyzing the content and context of shows, contextual targeting empowers brands to place their ads alongside the most brand-safe and relevant content. Users are more likely to engage with an ad that aligns with the content they are currently viewing, thus boosting engagement and ad recall by garnering more impactful consumer attention. 

Relevant and engaging content creates a great connection with the user, increases the time users spend on an ad, and goes beyond just visibility to deliver meaningful engagement. CTV ads bolstered by contextual targeting help brands better navigate the relatively new ad space, deliver more impactful outcomes, and enhance the overall brand impression.

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