Jun 7, 2018

The big picture: TV advertising is slowly going digital

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

TV advertising experts say television is going digital, but marketers still find a lot of value buying TV ads the old-fashioned way, based off of broader demographic data, specifically gender and age.

Why it matters: For consumer brands that need a mass reach, like those that sell toilet paper or toothpaste, buying TV ads based on demographics and age can be effective and cost-efficient for pushing products. But for brands that sell very distinct products to niche audiences — like custom sneakers, for example — digital ad-targeting is necessary to reach specific audiences.

"We're at a tipping point ... As providers in targeting and measurement, we're seeing a great uptick."
— Matt O’Grady, CEO of Nielsen Catalina Solutions

One key question: What type of data is best? It's conventional wisdom that first-party data (data gathered from your owned and operated channels) is strongest, but Kavita Vazirani, Executive Vice President of Strategic Insights and Analytics at NBCUniversal, says it's not always that easy to access.

  • "First-party data is really where we see tremendous alignment when we work with a client, but you don't always have that," Vazirani said at Nielsen's Consumer 360 Summit in Washington DC Thursday. "You don't always have the right type of data to make decisions on customer retention. Each brand has to define what is right for them," depending on what's available.

What's next: "There will be a day where there is advanced optimization across linear TV," says Aleck Schleider, SVP of Client and Data Strategy at Videology, a video advertising platform.

  • "In terms of the future, it continues to be much more of an addressable (data-driven digital) world as consumers go over-the-top, but that doesn’t mean traditional demographic targeting won't still play a massive role in the TV advertising ecosystem, especially because the digital TV ad space is still so fragmented and demographic advertising is very unified," or reliable, Schleider said.

Yes, but: Digital TV ad buying, or "audience-based" ad buying, while growing, is still a very small portion of overall TV ad-buying. Collectively, "audience-based" buying only accounts for roughly 10% of total TV advertising today.

Expand chart
Adapted from eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

Go deeper

FEC commissioner fact-checks Trump's voter fraud claims

Federal Election Commission Ellen Weintraub during a committee hearing in the Capitol in 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub posted an extensive fact-checking thread to Twitter late Wednesday refuting claims by President Trump and some Republicans that mail-in voting can lead to fraud.

Why it matters: Weintraub weighed in after Trump threatened to take action against Twitter for fact-checking him on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent, and she directly addressed Twitter's fact-checkin of the president in her post.

China approves Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong riot police round up a group of protesters during a demonstration on Wednesday. Photo: Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers approved a plan on Thursday for a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that would criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in the Asian financial hub.

Why it matters: China bypassed Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law, prompting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous from the Chinese mainland and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Go deeper (1 min. read)ArrowUpdated 23 mins ago - World

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

A man died in a Minneapolis shooting during a second night of clashes between police and protesters in the city over the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody, per AP.

The latest: Police said officers were responding to reports of a stabbing just before 9:30 p.m. and found a man lying in "grave condition on the sidewalk" with a gunshot wound, CBS Minnesota reports. On man is in custody over the incident.