I’m writing this from Paris, where I’ve spent the past
two days talking about the future of video ad measurement across television,
over-the-top TV platforms, and video ads on the large digital search and social
platforms, thanks to events hosted and driven by EGTA, the global trade
association of TV ad sellers, and WFA, the World Federation of Advertisers.
It’s been an intense and exciting series of
discussions, and I’m going to leave Paris with a certain amount of optimism
that we’re going to see some real advances in this area.
No one questions the need to bring TV and digital
video measurements together. They may be bought in silos today, but they
shouldn’t be measured that way.
Certainly, a lot of issues come into play when you
want to start integrating TV measurements with those on OTT and for campaigns
delivered on the large digital platforms at a global level among them:
methodology, privacy, regulation, national parochial interests, technology, data structures,
But the partners, suppliers and agents of
the media business need leadership. They have too many of their own turf wars
when it comes to measurement, so it’s critical that advertisers are stepping
Fortunately, the folks with the most at
stake, the advertisers — who ultimately fund nearly everything that happens in
our industry — are taking the lead to drive the process here. And it matters.
Here’s some ideas for what should play out
over the next year or two:
Building measurement bridges between TV and
large digital platforms. The
barbells of media are the best place to start, with TV on one side and search
and social on the other. Collectively, they represent 70% of ad spend, I
suspect. If they find common ground, it will make a big difference for everyone.
Start with planning, then post campaign
measurement and save currency for last. Boiling the ocean won’t work here. First, we need to plan better,
then to evaluate what was bought. Let’s save currency for last; it involves way
too much politics to take out early.
Over-include for data that will support
outcome-based measurements. Business
outcomes are becoming increasingly more important than media outputs to most
marketers. Certainly that’s the case for those who are growing. Let’s make sure
that we integrate data in such a way that we can not only track key media data,
but tie in results as well.
Worry more about bringing in emerging
digital platforms than getting all JIGs on board. Joint industry groups run most national TV measurements. By definition,
they are parochial, protective, and move slowly. They and global digital
platforms aren’t likely to get along well. Let’s solve for inclusiveness first
(include big digital), and solve for JIGs’ problems later.
Don’t let the pursuit of perfection get in
the way of achieving better. Progress
is important. Enough said.
What do you think? Are we ready for
cross-platform video ad measurement?
AKA (Association of Communications Agencies) published its annual report on
advertising for 2019.
In 2019, CZK 119.5 billion were invested in advertising in the Czech Republic. This is an expert estimate of net marketing spend based on a research conducted among advertisers by AKA in cooperation with Nielsen Admosphere last March. It is 5% more than last year’s 113.5 billion. “The shift is slightly above inflation and was reported for the fourth time in a row, which indicates that the industry is doing well,” said Marek Hlavica, Director of AKA, at today’s presentation of the latest figures.
The media (including traditional media types, such as TV, radio, outdoor ads and display advertising on the Internet) to non-media (other Internet
advertising including searching, social networks or cooperation with
influencers plus point-of-sale ads, PR or events) marketing investment ratio remains
about the same, i.e. fifty-fifty. More precise figures on non-media investments
are expected to be available in spring.
“TV is still the leader among media channels and despite the increasing spend on digital, for the time being there is no risk that the Internet might soon overcome traditional channels on the local market,” said AKA. In price list comparison, TV has grown by 8% year-on-year, i.e. faster than other traditional media types, such as press, radio and outdoor ads. “A comparable growth dynamics is reported by non-media forms of communication, such as promotion events, direct marketing, social networks and content marketing, or consumer competitions,” concluded industry representatives.
In terms of media spend, Alza.cz, Kaufland and Lidl are the three major advertisers of the year again, just their ranking changed compared to the previous year – the two German brick-and-mortar retailers were outperformed by the largest local e-shop. The top 10 of the major media advertisers includes Billa (which spent 65% more on communication than in the previous year) and Internet Mall; apart from traders, the highest ranks were achieved exclusively by food and fast-moving goods producers. “Sazka is the only exception in the top ten. Our effort to find prior years’ champions – mobile operators and banks – in the ranking would have been vain for several years,“ said AKA.
opinion, this year the industry will discuss regulation of alcohol advertising,
development of a Professional Communication Platform (refer to below),
awareness initiatives against disinformation directed at advertisers, efforts
to win support for creative industries from relevant ministries through the
Czech Chamber of Commerce and, in a dialogue with clients, market standard
innovations, specifically methods and models of agency ratings and orchestration
of communication tools which keep growing in number.
Another shift in the industry was the implementation
of technical measures to block ad buying on disinformation webs and informing
clients accordingly. “Cutting off these sources from digital ad financing is
one of the ways to democracy and our industry declares its support for it,”
said Hlavica. AKA as one of three national associations of communications
agencies in Europe joined the signatories of the Code of Practice on
Disinformation. “The fight with disinformation is monitored by the European
Commission to which AKA has to report on its activities in this field on a
regular basis,” states AKA, which considers the January conference in the
Senate as the initial act to be followed by specific practical steps.
industry may soon be impacted by the efforts of the Ministry of Health intended
to regulate alcohol advertising, specifically to reduce the content of advertisements
and the time when they are aired. “What the Ministry endeavours to do now is
not a realistic solution to a problem with alcohol in the Czech Republic.
Nowhere around the world these activities resulted in what the Ministry strives
to achieve,” said Hlavica, Director of AKA. AKA tends to seek self-regulation
or other awareness campaigns, such as Not
Drinking Is Normal. “Unfortunately, our proposals went unheard,” says
should not show living creatures, thinks the Minister of Health.
has been applied in the industry in respect of marking commercial activities of
influencers operating on social networks who are frequent ad carriers. The
above-mentioned Professional Communication Platform was established to
associate academic institutions (IKSŽ FSV UK), professional organisations (AKA,
APRA) and market entities and start to push for self-regulation of the
commercial use of influencers. The purpose is to clearly identify any paid
content and differentiate it from the editorial one to comply with effective
legislation. “SPIR is working on codification that will go through the approval
process in the nearest future,” said Jan
Binar from McCann, President of AKA, informing on the progress of their
For Better Government
tenders, Not Only in Brno
Public administration advertisers investing in information campaigns initiated tenders in the amount of CZK 2 billion last year, which was nearly double the prior year’s amount. “Although the Czech Republic fails to achieve the share of communication tenders in the total market as the developed European countries do, i.e. 15-20%, the shift forward is obvious,” thinks the Association.
Professional associations of local agencies – both
communication (AKA) and those focused on public relations (APRA) – have recently
made Brno concerned. “There were no problems before but now, they managed to invite
a tender for a creative solution at 100% cost. They even declared that if there
were multiple highest bids with the same prices, lots would be cast for the
winner,” said LucieČešpivová from Dorland, Chairwoman of the Czech
Independent Agencies Section of AKA, referring to the tender in the amount of
CZK 10 million invited in Brno for the selection of an agency to communicate
parking changes in the city.
past, AKA cooperated with the Municipal Authority of Brno on certain tender
documentation to the satisfaction of both parties. The contracting authority is
thus well-informed in AKA’s opinion and its current approach is more than
surprising. AKA addressed the Municipal Authority of Brno on 12 December to
express its objections and offered methodological assistance in making
adjustments to the tender documentation. There was no response from the city.
Only after having delivered a reminder, we received a response a day before the
deadline. The response by the Head of the Transportation Department of the Municipal
Authority of Brno did not satisfy us – far from it. Contrary to the published
tender documentation, he declared that the engagement did not contain any
creative work,” describes Hlavica, Director of AKA. According to the tender
documentation, the future supplier is required to make videos, write for the
web and participate in the communication strategy.
Why Aetna No Longer Wants to Work with Brno
Due to the approach adopted by Brno, the local agency
Aetna, one of AKA members, has just decided not to continue their cooperation.
Aetna received many prizes for its destination campaign called #BrnoTrueStory, including Effie for the most effective
communication in public administration. However, it could not continue even
though it was the winner of a tender which was held several months after the
agreement between the city and the agency had expired.
“A new agency was not selected due to a legal mistake
in the tender documentation. It took the city additional six months to invite a
new tender together with lawyers. But the problem is that the tender is the
same in fact, just with some cosmetic adjustments. Newly, a minimum amount was
set, participants are required to prepare a more precise media plan and the
formulation of the need to keep the defined brand book is less strict,” said Roman Šťastný, Aetna’s Executive
Manager. “Given its very nature, the tender cannot be fair. And what is more
important, time is flying and has no mercy. If the city does not mind to thwart
its investment we have to come to terms with it. Fourteen months have elapsed between
the agreement termination and the tender deadline. We can see such a critical
gap in consistent brand building that there is nearly nothing to continue with.
You can’t but start from scratch again. That is what we let other people do. We
are so proud of Brno brand book that we wouldn’t change a single thing. We considered
it to be a document that would survive and consolidate communication for the
years to come – we didn’t mean it to be a template for a one-year campaign.”
recent approach of Brno to communication public tenders is unfortunate. Brno acts
to its own detriment, i.e. regardless of all the people who are committed to
providing the city with professional and effective communication,” highlights
“Performance Marketing Got
How do industry professionals look at the development
of ad spend in future? “I can’t see any downsides. Brexit is a local issue in a
way. For the Czech Republic it is an opportunity if we have enough offices. We
also need more confidence. What the Netherlands or Scandinavia are able to do
that we can manage as well if we want to,” anticipates Petr Chajda, Leader of Dentsu Aegis in the Czech Republic and
Slovakia and Chairman of the ASMEA Committee (Association of Media Agencies).
In retail consumption, Chajda can see advertisers’ optimism in respect of media
ad spend. David Čermák from Momentum
Praha, Chairman of the Activation Agency Section of AKA, confirms the
optimistic outlook, stating that non-media investments will increase by 5-7%,
same as last year.
“The conversion cushion of performance marketing got
depleted and a brand combat at the storytelling level has just started,” thinks
Jan Binar based on discussions with clients. He can feel that advertisers have more
courage to take a healthy risk in communication.
invest in their values in order to build their positions for less favourable
times. The brand value provides producers with more room for manoeuvre at times
when sales go down and competition escalates,” adds Hlavica, Director of AKA.
What Agencies Expect from Research
“We as media agencies will bring TV research into a
sharp focus,” said Ondřej
Novák, Chairman of ASMEA, responding to Médiář’s question. “At the same time, it is obvious that the
“non-TV” part of research which is able to reflect the trends of non-linear
online video content consumption in measurement (such as timeshifted viewing,
HbbTV, IPTV, mobile viewing) will rise in importance. As media agencies, we
would like to have consistent and comprehensive video content measurement across
platforms and individual devices at hand, i.e. including all quantities that
are important for media planning. In terms of technology and methodology, TV
research goes full steam ahead of other common currencies and is on the top in
“Unfortunately, it is benchmarked with other
currencies – Media Projekt, Radioprojekt and, to some extent, NetMonitor. Their
quality is high, they have cutting-edge methodologies (after all, Media Projekt
is the longest continuous research ever conducted in the Czech Republic,
including sociological surveys; it has been carried out since 1994) but their
practical importance for the sector is questionable for various reasons. At
least in case of Radioprojekt – although we perceive the changes in ownership
taking place on the radio market and we do not play them down – certain (at
least ideological) direction to real measurement, which is by far not unusual
in Europe, would be worth following.”
about the Internet measuring? “The first problem is the definition of the
Internet and what should be measured. Online environment has an essential
generic problem – the field of measurement is nearly infinite. An important
aspect for agencies is that records should include crucial players – Google, social
networks, YouTube. In general, there is an enormous global problem to include
these players in measurement just because they don’t need or want to. Even
though the playfield is marked out, another issue is what to measure there –
display, RTB? Or quantities such as impressions, Internet GRP? It will be
complicated to make up measurement that will be helpful for everyone. Prospectively
(which I emphasize), we tend to see a possible way out in a platform, such as
video content consumption, on which measurements might mingle and industry
associations might cooperate because this may be what major players in all
positions – media, agencies, advertisers – might need. However, we are not
living in an ideal world and there are plenty of business interests.”
In 2019, TV aired more ads again in the Czech Republic with ad spots going
up in price. According to Nielsen Admosphere, Alza.cz, the Czech largest
e-shop, was the most powerful advertiser of the year.
advertiser in 2019 was Alza.cz, the largest local e-shop spending on ads nearly
CZK 1.8 billion, thus outstripping the previous year’s number one, Kaufland, and
number two, Lidl. Kaufland, ranked second this year, placed ads in the amount
of 1.7 billion in the media and was followed by Lidl on the third place with
its spend exceeding 1.5 billion. The following positions were taken by Sazka,
Procter & Gamble, Ferrero ČR, Nestlé, Henkel, Internet Mall and Billa while
Unilever, Mountfield and L’Oréal dropped off the top 10 last year.
This results from the latest figures of Nielsen
Admosphere’s monitoring. The data show price list
costs, advertisers’ real spend is usually lower.
Top 10 advertisers by the price
list value of ad space, 2019
Kaufland Česká republika
Lidl Česká republika
Procter & Gamble International Operations
In CZK billion. Rounded.
Excluding the companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere
continues to be the strongest media type in terms of advertising and it made
its position even safer last year as the TV ad spend increased by 8% to CZK 57.4
billion. The amount of press advertising grew by 1% last year to 19.8 billion. By
contrast, radio advertising decreased by 1% to 7.9 billion. Outdoor ads rose by
3% to CZK 5.4 billion.
“With a significant lead, TV keeps its position of the
most powerful local media type. In aggregate, TV companies once again aired
more ads and increased their prices,” said Tomáš Hynčica from Nielsen Admosphere.
Price list value of ad space,
the companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere
forthcoming weeks, the media type ranking will be completed with the Internet
data, published as usual by the Association for Internet Development (SPIR). The
Internet is also expected to grow. “The total value of advertising in the Czech
media is assumed to be about CZK 120 billion in 2019,” said Nielsen
the previous year (2018), the amount exceeded 113 billion.
It’s a new decade. Or is it? It depends on how you
like your decades. Is the old one finished or is that not until the end of
2020? ‘Who cares you pedantic twat, Clay?’ you might ask.
Fair enough, but 2020 is certainly a good moment to
reflect. And why not reflect on some of the myriad myths about TV and TV
advertising that still swirl about in industry discourse?
So, here is a handy guide of what to say when people
accidentally regurgitate nonsense about TV….
advertising is better than TV
Let’s start with one of the oldest chestnuts (not
quite as prevalent as it once was, true, but it still makes an appearance.) It
should be enough to point out that tonnes of TV advertising is watched online –
TV is online advertising. But, if that doesn’t work, pointing out that there is
no such thing as online advertising to compare TV to can help. Online
advertising is a fruit salad of many forms of marketing investment – including
search, email and, the juiciest fruit of all, TV.
just about brand building
TV is certainly excellent at turning products into
brands thanks to its scale and emotional connection with viewers. But TV is a
marketer’s Swiss Army knife. Its brand-building blades are razor-sharp, but it
has the magnifying glass, the corkscrew, and the tweezers too.
TV is increasingly sophisticated at the bottom end of
the purchase funnel, delivering massive short-term impact and innovative
data-led solutions (see below). In the first two weeks of a campaign, TV
delivers an average of 23% of the media-driven sales, the most of any
demand-generating media, according to
econometric analysis by Gain Theory, Wavemaker and Mediacom. Only TV’s best mate, online search, does slightly
more in the same amount of time. Look at the number of online brands on TV to
see how much they value both its brand and activation qualities.
advertising is old fashioned
TV is 100% digital. You can watch it and advertise in
and around it on any screen in every environment. And that advertising is
transforming. I can’t think of many industries that are more vibrant or driving
more change than TV advertising. As TV becomes a mass addressable medium, no
other addressable video ad offering comes close. TV’s advanced advertising
solutions are fuelled by willingly-given first-party data which can be
data-matched with advertisers’ own customer data. TV can now surpass other
online advertising for targeting, but in a high quality, proven brand-safe environment.
And rich contextual tools are giving advertisers access to perfect programming
environments: AI is being used to allow DIY retailers to access specific TV
episodes where characters are redecorating, for example.
If you still think TV is old fashioned, then perhaps
you’ve had too many Old Fashioneds.
advertising is pricey
This is all about cost vs. value. Buying a great car
may seem pricey, but you get what you pay for. In fact, with TV, you actually
get more than you pay for because advertisers only pay for the audience they
have bought, but most TV viewing is shared so they get loads of extra viewers
thrown in for free (and broad reach is what builds brands). The reverse is true
in other online advertising btw; there, advertisers must pay for every
exposure, whether they are in-target or not.
The truth is that TV has been incredible value for
years. Look at the effectiveness evidence – it delivers 71% of total profit
generated by advertising (on 54% of the spend), and it does so at the greatest
efficiency (a profit ROI of £4.20), and for the least risk.
TV sometimes suffers because competitors seem cheaper.
But there is often a huge gap between perception and reality. Take the
respective cost of online video and TV advertising: online video accounts for
just 4% of the time people spend watching video advertising yet gets 26% of all
video ad spend. TV accounts for 95% of ad viewing but gets 70% of ad spend.
Based on ad spend figures from the Advertising Association, the average cost
across TV advertising (linear and BVOD) for 30 seconds is just over £6. For
non-broadcaster online video, it goes up to £45.
So, the potentially brand unsafe, often small screen,
often partially viewable world of online video costs advertisers 7 times more
than TV. And that is just the cost – the quantity – it doesn’t consider the
vast differences in the quality of the ad exposures, nor the relative
is replacing TV
Netflix is TV, it just doesn’t offer advertising (yet)
or live viewing (yet).
No one can doubt the incredible rise of the
subscription streamers, though. But, equally, no one should underestimate the
resilience and popularity of the broadcasters. In the UK, Subscription VOD
(SVOD) accounts for around 10% of video viewing in total. Broadcaster TV is two
thirds of it.
Even the biggest Netflix fans also watch plenty of
broadcaster TV – they just love TV generally. And studies by Ofcom and MTM
agree that UK broadcasters have a distinct competitive advantage over the
global SVOD services because of their expertise in the British content that
It might be worth Netflix considering adding a live TV
string to its bow as that is part of what drives so much broadcaster viewing.
There are needs that watching TV/video satisfies, but some needs are better
served by on-demand, some by live TV. For example, on-demand is brilliant for
losing ourselves in other worlds. Think Game of Thrones. But on-demand can’t
satisfy all the things live TV does, especially our more social/communal needs,
which are so important. Think The Great British Bake Off, I’m a Celebrity…
Get Me Our of Here, or live sport.
people don’t watch TV
Yes, Love Island is horribly unpopular, isn’t it? Hardly makes a
dent on the front pages.
The fact is that young people do not watch as much
linear TV as they once did. But don’t judge their attitude towards TV on just
that. That would be like judging Serena Williams by her incredible backhand
alone or David Attenborough just by his coverage of penguins. There’s a lot
more to it.
Watching TV makes up well over half of 16 – 34
year-old’s video diet, most of it is broadcaster TV, and most of that is
watching linear TV. But because an increasing amount of it isn’t linear viewing
is why it is now essential that we plan TV advertising across all TV. No
advertiser bases performance on high street sales alone; TV shouldn’t be
treated any differently.
is only for big brands
They often end up big, but they don’t always start
that way – over
1,000 advertisers on TV in 2018 spent less than £50k (2019 data isn’t in yet, but the story will be
the same). And TV creates the majority of smaller businesses’
advertising-generated sales, some 80% according to Data2Decisions’ client data.
TV supercharges smaller businesses because it creates
new customers, which is what needs to happen once the effects of online
activation plateau. TV rapidly drives sales, dramatically grows the customer
base, increases trust, and creates fame.
The dawn of advanced TV advertising means getting on
TV is becoming ever easier for advertisers of all sizes. From Sky’s AdSmart – which
has encouraged more than 1,000 businesses to use TV for the first time – to the
range of opportunities on the ITV Hub and All4, and funding initiatives such as
UKTV Ventures, TV’s increasing flexibility means it is available to businesses
of all sizes. They just need to be ready to grow.
Videonet has published detailed accounts about each of the big takeaways from Future TV Advertising Global 2019, and you can see links to those stories at the bottom (click on the original link at the bottom). Here is a summary of our analysis.
No.1: Television is back on the
When it comes to competing for
advertising budgets in an increasingly data-driven world, television has been
on the back-foot for more than five years. Some people think the ad-supported
version of this medium is dying. But it looks like we have already passed peak
disruption in markets where media owners are transforming their ad capabilities
with better audience segmentation, targeting, attribution and even measurement.
This was the first Future TV Advertising event when the determination to win
back budget that has shifted to digital was expressed so forcefully and so
often, and it feels like the television advertising ‘recovery’ has moved to the
next level. The television industry has switched from defence to attack. We
need to recognise this moment.
No.2: It’s not a question of if you
follow the 60:40 rule, just how you implement it
Nobody is arguing with the conclusions
reached by Les Binet (who spoke at the event) and Peter Field in their
now-famous effectiveness studies (harnessing the vast resources of the IPA
Databank) that you need to spend 60% of budget on brand advertising and 40% on
activation to optimise campaign effectiveness (all sector average). Not one
person at this event challenged their work – not on the panels, not from the
audience. Binet & Field, and others who have supported their findings, have
won the argument. There will be a rebalancing of budget which will lead towards
more brand spending. The only question is how it will be done – that was the
debate at this London conference.
No.3: Addressable TV is coming fast, complementing rather than replacing
It was generally accepted that we can
expect an addressable TV stampede as more platform owners and broadcasters
adopt the technology, and addressable household reach is expanded. But despite
the growing interest in addressable, nobody says it will replace mass-market
advertising, as some commentators used to. Addressable is viewed as a
complement to ‘national’ (i.e. reaches all) advertising. The most important
use-case today is to deliver cost-effective incremental reach, including into
light television viewers. The main obstacles preventing an addressable TV
stampede are cost, complexity and inertia. There is a groundswell of opinion
that we need to start standardising on audience segments across markets.
No.4: Unification of broadcast and digital is everything
This will surprise nobody, but the
message was often repeated at The Future of TV Advertising Global because it is
just so important: the television industry must demonstrate de-duplicated reach
and frequency across broadcast TV and digital, and we have to make it easier to
plan, buy and report audiences as a whole, spread across every ‘format’, which
means digital (including, importantly, connected TV), broadcast and addressable
(addressable is now frequently talked about in its own right, despite spanning
both TV and digital).
The siloes have to be broken down and it
is also clear that on the sell-side, media owners are going to take what
practical steps they can, individually, to enable holistic audience planning
and buying even while they support wider industry initiatives towards
cross-media standardisation. Small and medium steps are being welcomed, given
the difficulty with taking giant strides.
No.5: TV is an activation medium, which makes it a uniquely full-funnel
We are going to hear a lot about
‘full-funnel’ media in the next 24 months, and it is the TV industry that will
be shouting loudest. There are a few reasons for this: Budget spend will be
rebalanced towards more brand building by companies who have neglected this
task; Television has successfully argued that it is the undisputed champion of
long-term, brand-built, value-add; Television already helps to drive
activation, but the digital advertising giants have taken the credit for much
Other reasons are: Television is getting
better at the direct attribution of outcomes to advertising exposure that
allows it to prove its role in activation; The attribution data is becoming
available faster, in time to help optimise live campaigns; The technology that
enables that improved attribution is going mainstream fast; The tech vendors
who are making short-term attribution easier have a realistic, TV-friendly
approach to life, so can fit straight into the existing ecosystem.
No.6: The real magic is data-driven, audience-based buying
This event provided a timely reminder
that addressable TV is not the only use of audience-based buying. Another key
use-case, which is better known in North America than in Europe, is optimised
linear buying. In simple terms, you define the audience target against
need-state, interests and lifestyle, etc. and you find which homes these people
are living in – as with addressable TV. But rather than seek them out on a
one-to-one basis using addressable TV (and so exclude homes that are outside
your audience segment), you use set-top box data to figure out what channels
and shows this audience segment is watching on linear TV, and what times of day
they are watching, and then buy standard (national, i.e. reaching everyone)
broadcast linear TV where you can find most of this audience at the best
No.7: Agencies do have a future
Every year on the eve of Future TV
Advertising Global, an invitation-only Pathfinders gathering addresses some of
the hottest topics in advertising. This year it focused on the future of
agencies, and it will come as no surprise that leaders at those companies are
convinced they have a bright outlook, despite the attentions of brand
procurement officers on the one hand and media services consulting firms like
Accenture on the other.
One executive summed up the value-add
that agencies provide (or should provide) very neatly: They are the guardians
of effectiveness for client campaigns across the whole communications
ecosystem; Agencies can look at the holistic picture, working out how best to
use the different media and media owners together; Agencies are the guardians
of balancing the long-term and short-term goals of their clients; They are the
guardians of client spend, making sure that it goes where the audiences are.