Comcast study suggests ad strategies for ‘The New TV’

Spotlight said TV advertising needs to be tied more directly to actual business outcomes like store visits and website traffic. (Comcast)

Comcast Spotlight, the company’s advertising sales division, released a new study with suggestions for how advertisers can best optimize campaigns for a “New TV” landscape.

Spotlight cited broader access to programming and deeper viewership data as two reasons why television and television advertising has evolved so much over the past 20 years, while affirming that TV is still an extremely popular medium.

“Contrary to the accepted industry narrative, TV today is thriving, with time spent viewing video reaching new highs, and it remains the most powerful way to reach consumers. It’s just a new TV, one that has evolved with more content and more consumer access,” said Hank Oster, chief operating officer and senior vice president at Comcast Spotlight, in a statement. “It’s important we help advertisers understand the way the medium has evolved and how to harness the abundant time spent and its reach to grow their businesses.”


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In particular, Spotlight’s new research seeks to dispel a few myths about which channels and dayparts are most effective for advertising reach. The study showed that the top five cable networks only represent 14% of viewing time, and the average household watches 17 networks. The study also showed that 66% of viewing occurs outside of the primetime daypart, and that 87% of TV viewing (not limited to sports and news) is still live.

RELATED: TV advertising still trouncing digital in terms of impressions, Nielsen says

To optimize reach, Spotlight suggests advertisers translate audience knowledge into data by defining audience segments and then using that data to assign campaigns the right networks and timeslots. After that, the company says tactics like using a broader mix of networks, running schedules over a longer period of time and using complementary video formats can help increase reach.

Finally, Spotlight said TV advertising needs to be tied more directly to actual business outcomes like store visits and website traffic.

“While employing new advertising strategies to succeed in the The New TV world requires change, there is proof that making these strategic shifts is worth it,” wrote Spotlight in its study.

Comcast New TV graphic
(Comcast Spotlight)

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