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Once you venture outside of search and paid social, what are the forms of paid media that are going to have greatest impact on your bottom line? In my opinion one of the key formats is video, but which video option should you choose, and how do you measure it?

With display, you can drive performance on paper, but are the conversions incremental to the bottom line or would they have happened anyway, regardless of someone being served a display ad? TV and video are less measurable, but have the potential to have a greater impact on results.

Display acts as a good reminder for someone who is already engaged with your brand to continue that journey – i.e. ‘New Collection Now In’ messaging, but it is less effective at engaging new customers, compared to video.

The richer audio-visual format of video makes it more engaging, and the placement of video in most instances makes it more viewable. Both of these factors mean that video, whilst less measurable, should have a higher impact on bottom line stats than digital display.

The current COVID-19 crisis introduced a previously unseen opportunity to test TV and video. As many advertisers have pulled back on their marketing spends, the publishers and channels are now offering some very low rates and strong added value deals, some even come with deals on producing creative. However, don’t just think of TV and video ads as traditional TV ads. These can be used prolifically across digital opportunities and digital video can also take alternative formats depending on its placement. For example, six second bumper ads for YouTube and vertical specific video for paid social.

The video (and TV) landscape

The video / TV landscape is changing rapidly, with many buying options across many screens. Each of the different options is delivered to the user in a very different environment, with a subsequent different consumption context and behaviour. For example, the IAB found that 95% of YouTube ads are watched with the sound on, whereas 80% of Facebook ads are watched with the sound off.

The below list details some of the different video and TV options available when you’re looking to move into the video advertising space. I’ve also included a number of key consideration factors to help demystify this complex space which is hopefully helpful to brands considering moving into video.

The potential cost of video can deter brands from campaigns, but regardless of campaign or platform, video / TV campaigns don’t tend to have the same investment levels of old.

Paid social video campaigns can be run with upwards of £500, and Video on Demand can be run with £2000+. You need to bear two key considerations in mind: the budget needed to impact the results you wish to drive, and the investment in creative, which needs to be weighed up against the volume of views and the brand impact.

Often with all things considered, including attention and viewability, video and TV campaigns can work out to be more cost-effective than standard display.

Types of TV & Video Buying

Linear TV

This refers to the buying of live TV through one of the major networks such as Channel4, ITV and Sky. Ads appear within the TV shows, and are seen on TV screens (aka big screen).

Media is bought against an audience persona and optimised to reach, or to direct response by matching spot times to site traffic.

Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD)

The buying of ad slots within TV shows as per linear, but these are delivered to users watching via on demand platforms such as ITV Hub, All4 and SkyGo.

BVOD via the OnDemand players can be delivered across Smart TVs and the big screen, and also on clickable devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets.

An important distinction is that when users are watching via the big screen, it is not possible to engage with the ads by clicking on them, although it is also worth noting that whilst the ads delivered across digital devices can be, they are rarely clicked on as users are immersed in their chosen show.

Adsmart by Sky

Sky Adsmart ads are delivered across the big screen the same as linear TV, but are more highly targeted through Sky’s data integrations, which facilitate precision targeting such as people looking to move house, frequent purchasers of male grooming products, or mid affluence families.

Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

SVOD is the term used to describe subscription services such as Netflix or Disney+. There is currently no advertising opportunity on the platforms, but they are worth noting due to their rise in popularity.

Outstream & pre-roll

Outstream videos are digital ad formats that sit within website content, and pre-roll ads are similar to TV ads that sit before videos watched on publishers’ websites.

The digital placements offer opportunities to be bought programmatically and to overlay detailed audience and placement targeting. You can see an example of an outstream video here.


YouTube’s most popular format is the Skippable True View format, which places a video in front of the chosen content (pre-roll); whereby the ad can be skipped and not paid for. TV ads can be utilised on YouTube, but the best performing ads are the ones that are edited to match the YouTube ‘skippable’ experience.

YouTube offers detailed digital targeting and use of Google audiences.

Paid Social

Paid social is the buying and placement of video ads across all paid social platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and TikTok, most commonly in the newsfeed. These ads are highly targeted with huge reach, but are often only briefly seen, or skipped past – usually with the sound off.

Key takeaways

Advertising on the TV has never been more accessible for brands and is no longer just for large companies with high media budgets. This means that video can be a really great way to launch a new brand or product.

Big screen viewing continues to drive brand awareness, but more importantly, consideration and brand trust, which are the precursor to sales.

TV and video are more measurable than you might initially think, with linear TV being spot matched to website visits, digital formats and clickable BVOD being able to be tracked alongside other digital activity, and of course brand studies to measure the impact on brand metrics.

This blog post is an introduction to the A/V media and only just scratches the surface.  For more information on any of the above factors, and to understand how video might work for you, head to our paid media page or get in touch directly.