The Importance of Storytelling in Connected TV Advertising

June 29, 2021

We all remember streaming back in 2008, right? After watching the same commercial for the tenth time, you silently wondered to yourself, “Does this company just own my television? Is this the only ad I’ll ever see?” This is obviously an extreme example, but it highlights the need for brands to understand that conversions with their consumers should be treated as dialogues, not PSAs. In our 2021 survey, produced in partnership with Digiday, 32% of marketers listed frequency as a concern of theirs when running ads on connected TV (CTV). Meaning, while it’s important to increase recall through the optimal frequency, or repeated exposures, it’s also important to consider the broader story those exposures tell together.

Similar to how stories are built out of chapters, each ad exposure is a building block of your relationship with your consumer. With sequential personalization tactics, brands have the opportunity to deliver focused messaging in a way that helps foster consumer relationships rather than harpoon them. For example, if brand recall is your goal, the smart play would be to serve a longer-form ad message between shorter teases and use callbacks to drive retention. To ensure your long-form message hits your core audience, show it specifically to viewers who have previously engaged with an earlier creative. Or, if you’re trying to create a more engaging experience to draw viewers in, consider a larger story that is told in parts.

These tactics are critical on connected TV. The surrounding medium is inherently narrative, which presents advertisers with an opportunity to match the tone and cadence of their ad experiences. In a 2020 survey we conducted, most respondents (39%) chose “ads that understand and address the context of my moment” as the most appealing personalization tactic to them. This doesn’t necessarily mean name dropping the show they’re currently watching, but instead understanding the contextual importance of that environment and adjusting communication to complement it. For example, Marvel is a master at this. Immediately following every movie, they promote their next film to the audience using a post-credits short tease. They’re building in consumer retention to the format of their content in a way that’s both native and engaging.

As the world of streaming continues to expand and viewership grows exponentially, Innovid’s strategies for frequency, sequencing, and history-based sequencing are invaluable additions to any marketer’s tool belt. Our solutions directly solve the challenges faced early on in the channel like frequent over-saturation of your message and how to create “lean-in” engaging experiences. The promise of CTV has always been the best of digital meets the best of traditional TV. By connecting experiences, we take interactions beyond the level of episodic TV and into the golden age of serialized storytelling.

Contact our team to learn how Innovid can help bring your CTV advertising to life through sequential, personalized storytelling.