Sunday, December 9, 2012

Connected TV Ads: An Untapped Marketing Opportunity

Connected TVs, sometimes called Smart TVs, are modern televisions directly connected to the Internet and at present are the wild, Wild West in terms of being a new frontier for advertisers. They have a distinct advantage over traditional televisions in that they're interactive, and that is making all the difference for marketing companies.

Video ads are becoming the marketing standard as companies create a value proposition for consumers. Instead of just watching a static, non-interactive commercial like we do when we watch traditional television, video ads are designed to be most effective when viewers interact with them.

For some unexplained reason, however, marketing companies have been slow on the uptake in their video-ad marketing to Smart TV viewers. Odd, if we consider there are more than 24 million American households with connected TVs, and by 2016 that number is projected to exceed 80 million homes.

For marketers looking for new and untapped resources, connected TV viewers could be it. In December 2011, a study conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates showed the following results:
  •  38 percent of viewers visited a website featured in a connected TV ad
  •  36 percent considered purchasing a product or service mentioned in a connected TV ad
  •  34 percent went to the Internet to look for a mentioned product or service
  •  33 percent of connected TV viewers mentioned the information in featured ads to other people

So, who are connected TV users? By and large they are gamers. Gaming consoles like Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo's Wii, and Microsoft's Xbox 360 were the most connected devices. Smart TVs and Internet- connected Blu-ray players are also popular devices.

Based on this information, there's no question that this technology and marketing is still in the "early adopter" phase of development. Early adopters are typically on the leading edge and are more included to try all the bells and whistles just to see how everything works. They're also the key to crafting and shaping what will eventually become the products the general public will embrace when broad acceptance, known as "critical mass" in the industry, occurs.

True, early marketing numbers might be a little skewed because of the enthusiasm and willingness of the early adopters, but this is an opportunity for marketing companies that doesn't come along every day. Setting the early standard with compelling interactive marketing content will become the norm in this medium, and is greatly aided by our desire to access the Internet no matter where we are, or which of our many devices is at our disposal.

With the average connected TV viewer watching more than 12 hours of content per week, marketing companies are in an excellent position to create advertising and marketing baselines that will help future advertising buyers make accurate and informed decisions. Right now it is a truly "uncluttered" marketplace, which means the sky is the limit.

What will the future of connected TVs and Smart TVs look like? No one's certain of that, but can there really be any question that it will be awesome? Interactive ads just make sense, and the time has come for marketing and advertising companies to start shaping the dialogue.

Author Bio: Dwayne Thomas is a marketer and staff writer for, a website that helps you find the best deal on cable TV. He welcomes your feedback on Twitter @DwayneThomas15.