Advertisers are looking for creative ways to engage with audiences on the big screen and CTV delivers a lot of new opportunities that linear TV doesn't offer. CTV's promise combines big-screen attention with digital targeting and engagement. One exciting opportunity in particular is Direct-to-Glass advertising, offered by TV manufacturers like LG, Samsung and Vizio. Direct-to-Glass advertising delivers unique formats and new placements that are integrated into the TV home screen and navigation pages, delivering a completely new and different experience for viewers.
For advertisers, the promise is that viewers are leaning in more than when they watch commercials during regular streaming content, and they have their remote in-hand, which delivers an opportunity for engagement and interaction.
Advertisers are also intrigued by TV Glass because they don't have to contend with some of the common challenges they have with commercial advertising including frequency capping, fraud and ad skipping.
New Formats, New Formula for Success
Advertisers can get value from Direct-to-Glass, but it's different from traditional in-stream commercials. Here are five best practices to make the most of Direct-to-Glass experiences.
Keep It Simple
Less is more with a Direct-to-Glass display ad. While people are leaning in, they aren't in "reading mode" like they are on mobile or desktop. Advertisers should reduce clutter and aim for succinct messaging.
Ads will also be more memorable if they use prominent and eye-catching branding. Keeping the key product or message at the forefront will create the best impact.
Design for Unique Placements
Direct-to-Glass offers unique advertising units that appear while the user is browsing for their favorite content. Some units appear on the home screen, while others appear on other pages when viewers are downloading a new streaming app or searching for content. Leaning into bold colors and imagery ensures that the ad stands out against the rest of the viewer's menu.
Each ad unit deserves a thoughtful design that makes the most of its placement on the screen. A home screen ad is the first thing a viewer will see, so making a visual impact, appealing to their interests, and drawing them in with a simple brand message is best. In the menu browsing areas, a different approach is needed. Here, people are starting their viewing session or in between content and have their remote in hand. This is a great opportunity for advertisers to test experiences that are more interactive.
Design for a Range of Experiences
The design of different ad placements is specific to both the TV itself and the operating system (OS) at the time the TV was purchased. Viewers are going to have varying OS, so advertisers should plan for a diverse set of ad experiences to reach the right users, regardless of their device. It's best to think of the different placements as a cohesive group rather than individual ad buys. LG, for example, sells the comprehensive package of five different formats as one unified offering.
Direct-to-Glass options are evolving quickly, so advertisers should stay up to date on what the newest features and designs are and see how they can incorporate them for their campaigns. Advertisers should remember that not every viewer will have access to the newest formats, so it's important to consider the creative strategy across all operating systems to make the greatest impact.
Keep Multi-Channel Experiences in Mind
Advertisers should look for ways to deepen the user's ad experience by leaning into multi-channel strategies. One great way to achieve this is by using an interactive QR code to bridge the gap from TV to mobile.
Not only do most viewers use their phone while watching content on their TV, "almost 70 percent of the digital video content audience in the United States was reported to watch videos on their smartphones," according to Statista. Because scanning a QR code with your mobile device a known and understood user behavior, viewers can quickly and easily scan when it appears on screen. This seamless jump between big and small devices allows them to shop or convert on an offer more easily than on their TV.
Advertisers can increase brand presence and memorability by ensuring that the creative look and feel is consistent across both TV and mobile experiences.
Test Interactive Features
While shopping for products straight from the TV screen isn't a norm today, user behavior is shifting based on innovation and evolving ad formats. It's a great time for advertisers to test and see what works best for their consumers. Advertisers can make the most of their TV Glass campaigns by testing different calls to action and ensuring that the landing page experience post ad click or QR code scan is one that is memorable and easy to view and navigate on the big screen when applicable.
Direct-to-Glass is emerging as a way for brands to stand out and connect with audiences in an environment that captures attention and engagement. While it requires creative thinking that is different from advertising on other devices, the payoff can be worth it for advertisers willing to test this unique opportunity.