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CTV Remains Main Topic At Advertising Week NY 2023

October 23 •
3 Minute Read

As I sit here recovering from this week’s adventures at Advertising Week, I find myself reflecting on what made this week worth the blisters, lack of sleep and lower back pain. I keep honing in on these three bright themes: seeing a ton of old friends and familiar faces, listening to what the market seems to be focusing on (more on that below), and holy heck! Getting back inside the old Manhattan Mall – drop ceilings and all! Blockboard, performance DSP for CTV video advertising, attends Advertising Week New York 2023

Last year, seemed a bit more chaotic logistically when it was downtown. While there is much (and I mean more than your average vanity remodel) to be done at the Mall – it was a lot more conducive to bumping into people, getting to the panels easily and a few areas for neat activations (we see you, Netflix).

Because of the set up – I was able to be much more opportunistic with panels, and I took advantage of that. From the discussions I heard and the conversations I had, here are my three main takeaways from the week:

I want my CTV!

It is now clear to marketers that not only is CTV here to stay, but CTV must actually be a priority point in their overall strategy. What Blockboard knew early on, and what the pandemic accelerated – was that consumers are shifting to CTV faster than our industry is really prepared for. According to eMarketer, 2024 will be the year that pay TV households will fall to non-pay TV households. The shift in the conversation around CTV this week was from ‘why’ CTV to ‘operating’ in CTV.

Quick Tip: Evaluate your CTV partners that can align with your goals and have proven track record of treating your media investment with kid gloves. It’s fine, just call us. 😉

Retail Media – Fashionable

One of the more recently, and I mean within past few years, en vogue concepts is ‘Retail Media.’ In simplest terms, the concept of advertising within digital properties owned by a retailer. Major retailers (see Kroger, Walmart, etc) have all invested a tremendous amount to stand these up, and for the right types of verticals it could be an amazing fit. But for most others… and possibly even within the ‘right fit’ vertical, might not be a great option. Marketers are looking for ways to ease the consumer purchase funnel – it’s going to take testing and evaluation to find the right combination.

Quick Tip: Think critically and creatively on what you’d truly like to measure for evaluating your tactics.

Content is Critical – in Ads, too

We are living during an amazing age. It’s the ‘golden years of television’ …. On steroids. While there were some good conversations around show content and interesting distribution pathways, I found another aspect a bit more fascinating. We are quickly moving away from cutting straight 30s and 15s. We’ve all seen the uptick of cutting additional 6s commercials… but that’s not really enough. The future of ad creative will be proper story-arching because the technology is now in place to manage that through to the consumer. Now, the question might quickly be: how does AI impact creative as we begin to need multiple versions and progression?

Quick Tip: Today’s a great day to start testing and measuring what the ideal frequency per creative is for your brand and start planning out the story arch cadence.

Blockboard, performance DSP for CTV video advertising, at panel during Advertising Week New York 2023.
Blockboard Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Wasserlauf discussing the biggest challenge in the CTV space today – transparency and fraud.

BONUS: Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised – but still very few panels and conversations around the elephant in the room. Waste and fraud – the misspend of marketer’s dollars. It’s great to be efficient and all the bells & whistles in video – but let’s get that ~20% back working.

Overall, Advertising Week was worth the 15k+ steps each day, ~5 hours of sleep and the 17 cups of carafe coffee.

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