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Behind the camera in a TV commercial production

The TV Commercial Production Process Is Evolving: Are You Ready?

May 3rd, 2019   ||    by Oriana Schwindt

The TV commercial production process is complex, with many moving parts. As the number of ad-supported video platforms has increased, so has that complexity. How are agencies navigating these waters? What are their best practices?

Three Different Approaches

The germ of TV commercial production can start with a specific message a marketer wants to get across, a specific audience they want to reach, or a combination of both.

“There’s no simple approach to it,” Adrienne Holthaus, group media director at Exverus, said on a MediaPost panel in February.

Message-driven advertising, usually associated with brand awareness campaigns, tends to be the seed of many linear TV ads because TV is still the best reach vehicle, according to Adweek. A combined approach, though, is what leads to true marketing success, Adweek noted.

Not All Platforms Are Created Equal

Do connected TV audiences expect the same ad breaks as linear TV? Are they looking for a more bite-sized (under 30 seconds) experience? Do they want informative ads, or story-driven ads?

As with most other questions around connected TV, the answer is: it depends. In this case, it depends on the content and how it’s watched, according to Marketing Tech News and Harvard Business Review, respectively.

Jenn Cohen, SVP of Entertainment Content Partnerships for Turner Ignite Studios, has an explanation. “If a marketer wants long-form creative on YouTube, we’d talk about producing a truly premium entertainment experience,” Cohen told MediaVillage. “But if what a marketer wants is a quick hit, where people watch and share on the go, then we may go for scroll-stopping video for the Facebook or Instagram frame of mind.”

The same mindset applies to the connected TV commercial production process. The successful connected TV marketer thinks about the content surrounding their ad, and how to best compliment it with their own creative.

Breaking Down Silos

Traditional media companies are eager to prove they can be just as adaptable as their digital counterparts. Take Turner Ignite Studios as an example: a digital-first entity sitting within a larger media company known primarily for its linear TV offerings that leverage both digital and linear strengths.

Turner isn’t alone in its amphibiousness. Almost every traditional TV provider now has an advanced TV sales unit.

But though both agencies and media companies are breaking down silos between digital and linear TV, there’s still work to be done. In a 4C study reported in Broadcasting & Cable, “48% of marketers surveyed said that the inability to plan media buys seamlessly between platforms, publishers and networks was their biggest obstacle.”

It’s work that needs to be done, though, if the full potential of connected TV is to be unlocked.

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