Digiday+ Research: TV will play an important part in brands’ holiday marketing

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This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →

Thanksgiving is here, and with it comes Black Friday and the all-important holiday shopping season — and the marketing that goes with it.

Of course, brands are ready to take to social media and digital channels to reach shoppers where they spend a good deal of their time, but there’s another marketing channel that will play an important role in brands’ holiday marketing: TV.

This is according to a recent survey from Digiday+ Research that asked 47 brand professionals about their marketing plans for the holidays. What Digiday found was that, when separated from streaming and connected TV ads, traditional TV falls solidly in the middle in terms of the channel’s importance to brands’ holiday marketing strategies. However, combining traditional TV, CTV and streaming (or over the top), it’s clear that TV still has a strong place in brands’ holiday marketing.

On its own, TV advertising made the list of the top five marketing tactics brands plan to use during the holidays this year, Digiday’s survey found. (Gift guides came in first, followed by brand experiences, unboxing videos and pop-up shops — followed by TV ads.) Nearly a quarter of brand respondents said they expect to use TV ads in their holiday marketing — which is a significant percentage in the era of digital and social media. Meanwhile, 17% of brand pros said they will use CTV and OTT ads during the holidays (tied with hauls and physical direct mail).

However, combining Digiday’s survey results for TV ads with CTV and OTT ads tells a different story — one that indicates the stronghold of TV among marketing tactics.

According to Digiday’s survey, 40% of brands said they expect to use TV, CTV and OTT ads in their holiday marketing this year, which bumps TV up to third place among the holiday marketing tactics brands plan to use this year (tied with unboxing videos).

While social media and other, newer digital channels are often billed as the channels to be if marketers want to meet consumers where they are, it makes sense that TV advertising would be up there with social content — especially if streaming and connected TV ads are included in that category. After all, aren’t consumers often streaming the newest Hulu or Netflix show while they’re scrolling through TikTok and Instagram? That’s a safe marketing bet during the holidays.

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