The Importance of Perspective in TV Advertising

A new report shows what brand marketers can learn by looking at the industry from multiple points of view

By Marcien Jenckes


It’s not easy to be a brand marketer in 2022. The speed of evolution and change in the media industry has created an environment where marketers are constantly forced to learn new processes, understand new technologies, and try new approaches. Meanwhile, changes in consumer viewing habits have completely upended the industry’s definition of “TV advertising,” as brands strive to balance advertising on TV and streaming services to maximum effect.

With all of this as a backdrop, how can a modern advertiser know what steps they should take to succeed?

In my mind, it all comes down to perspective.

For brand marketers to know which strategies will drive meaningful and measurable results, it’s crucial that they understand what’s going on around them. This is not just about the latest buying options or technologies; this means getting a deep appreciation of the habits, trends, and challenges for viewers, for other buyers, and for sellers. As the buy and/or sell sides continue to evolve and, in many ways, overlap, marketers need an understanding of what’s driving their decisions and their dollars.

It’s with this in mind that Comcast Advertising recently rolled out the first Comcast Advertising Report 2022.  This inaugural report uses insights from FreeWheel, Comcast’s media and technology arm, and Effectv, Comcast’s advertising sales division, to create a holistic view from all sides of the ecosystem. The report relies on U.S. data over the past year based on over 20,000 cross-screen campaigns from Effectv, and platform insights from FreeWheel, which works with nearly 90 percent of the premium video ecosystem. By looking at how viewers are viewing, how buyers are buying, and how sellers are selling, the report uncovers unique, actionable insights for the modern advertiser.  

Here’s a sampling of the report’s findings:

  • Consumers are exposed to more digital video ads than ever before, as ad views on digital services increased by 45 percent from the second half of 2020 to the second half of 2021.
  • Viewers prefer live content on both TV and streaming platform; in fact, 89 percent of traditional TV viewing is spent watching live TV and 54 percent of digital video viewing is live.
  • Audience targeted campaigns have increased by more than 50 percent year over year, as advertisers turn to audience targeting to reach the right viewers at scale across viewing platforms.
  • Programmatic ad views have grown 80 percent year over year, as advertisers see automated programmatic buying as a way to reach specific audiences more efficiently.
  • As sellers move to programmatic models in a search for unique demand, they are working with an average of 13 different programmatic partners — and up to 30 in total.

These findings have multiple implications for advertisers. As viewership continues to fragment across devices, advertisers should increasingly focus on “following the audience,” wherever they choose to watch. And, as the ecosystem grows more complex and audiences’ viewership behaviors spread out across platforms and devices, advertisers can rely on programmatic buying as a way to more efficiently reach their audience, and connect better with sellers.

The upshot of all of the report’s insights and research is not just a new perspective for brand marketers but also a proven formula for success in today’s marketplace. Comcast Advertising’s analysis of more than 20,000 campaigns uncovered an effective balance of TV and streaming advertising. The report found that, among multiscreen campaigns of all budget levels, reach is highest when 20 percent to 30 percent of advertising investment is allocated to streaming. While advertisers may choose to adjust this balance within a range of 10 percent to 40 percent depending on the audience, Comcast Advertising found that streaming allocations beyond 40 are outweighed by the minimization of traditional TV.

There is still a lot to learn and to uncover among viewers, buyers, and sellers as the industry continues to shift. Addressable advertising, programmatic, first-party data, and new currencies all promise to play an outsized role as the industry progresses.

By arming themselves with actionable insights — and taking the extra time to consider the industry from all perspectives — brand advertisers will be ready. For the latest insights across the buy/sell sides, download the Comcast Advertising Report 2022

Marcien Jenckes is the managing director of Comcast Advertising, a partner in the ANA Thought Leadership Program.

The views and opinions expressed in Industry Insights are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.