Q&A: How advertisers are leveraging CTV’s evolution into actionable TV

As the connected TV space continues to grow, new advertising avenues emerge. The latest is the idea of actionable or shoppable TV, stemming from the popularity of social commerce and the expansion of shoppable ads across social platforms. 

Shifts like this create new opportunities for advertisers to explore and new ways to reach target audiences. With more innovation certain to come in 2024, CTV advertisers will have even more opportunities to leverage for success with the channel. 

In this Q&A, the Custom in-house agency at Digiday spoke with Miles Fisher, senior director and head of emerging and programmatic sales at Roku, about the rise of actionable or performance TV, the company’s recent partnership with Unity and what advertisers can do as connected television continues to evolve. 

Television has long been known as — and used as — a brand awareness play. Are you seeing a shift within CTV campaigns toward mostly performance, an equal mix of the two, or are you finding that many advertisers still use CTV ads for brand awareness?

Miles Fisher: It depends on the campaign. CTV is still relatively new and one of the fastest-growing channels — in fact, Roku’s reach is approaching half of U.S. broadband homes. Like linear, it provides good reach and frequency.

If brand awareness is a brand’s goal, CTV can deliver that.

It also is a growing performance channel, with the added benefit of taking place on the largest screen in the home. Video advertising will always be a mainstay for big brands, but we also aim to build a performance community with various performant ad offerings. The next generation of performance brands will be built on CTV. It’s proven to work for many different types of advertisers, from the largest brands in the world to DTC startups. Ultimately, CTV democratizes TV advertising for brands — something that was not always possible with linear TV.   

As the popularity of CTV continues to grow, many advertisers are focusing on its more actionable aspects — what some refer to as shoppable TV. How are you incorporating more actionable ad options into your offerings? 

Miles Fisher: One of our goals is to make TV as shoppable as other marketing channels, like social, and we are uniquely positioned to do just that. Our operating system has logged-in account information, which creates a direct connection with the consumer. We’ve also found that consumers are more likely to click ‘OK’ on their Roku remote to interact with our shoppable ads when compared to scanning a QR code. Our data and tech are driving performance up to 10x better than QR codes. We’re still in the early days of shoppable ads, but we have already seen progress and success with the format. Our partners like DoorDash, Shopify, Walmart and now Unity help us to continue innovating.   

What types of creatives do you anticipate seeing across CTV in 2024? What sorts of strategies do you expect advertisers to implement across the channel? 

Miles Fisher: Display and clickable formats are both huge bets for us next year. We’ve already developed native ad formats like these, such as Roku City brand integrations and marquee home screen display ads for nearly all types of brands, but we plan to continue looking for new and creative ways to drive engagement. Especially as a lot of viewers use non-ad-supported apps, CTV stands out as a channel for reaching people with non-video formats.  

Masthead ads have been a staple across digital for years, and with our 75 million active accounts, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the Roku OS. Another huge opportunity is the clickable ad format via remotes that drives actions like installs, emails and texts. Tying the biggest screen in the room, the TV, to the smallest, mobile, creates a direct connection to a down-funnel action that shows CTV can be a serious performance driver.   

What new opportunities do advertisers have with Unity’s solution for Roku? 

Miles Fisher: This partnership with Unity expands upon our core pillar of opening access to Roku media, and it makes extending ad campaigns into CTV easy and impactful for Unity app marketers to drive growth. We’re bridging the gap between CTV advertising and mobile app user acquisition. With our scaled, premium inventory, mobile app marketers can leverage CTV for their user acquisition campaigns and close the measurement loop for enhanced optimization. Many brands are finding advertising efforts maxed out on top digital channels, reaching the point of diminishing returns. CTV can change all of that. 

Also, privacy changes are altering how mobile apps can target and measure ad campaigns while increasing their advertising costs. With our scale and a direct connection to supply, marketers can solve this problem, make more efficient buys and optimize performance. We’re helping app advertisers grow across all channels and improve channel diversity.   

What capabilities or features do you plan to roll out in 2024 as a part of this partnership?

Miles Fisher: We are early in the partnership, but we are excited to learn from campaigns and to continue building together. Part of that includes scaling actionable ads and solving for measurement. We plan to leverage a clean room to bring the best of Roku first-party data and Unity first-party data together for unique targeting, optimization and measurement capabilities that MMPs have never had access to.   

Sponsored by Roku


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