Last year we continued to see the television advertising landscape change at an expeditious rate, with brand marketers spending twice as much on online video than they did on TV ads. Here’s a peek at some of the trends we believe will continue to shape this market this year…


The ‘Big Five’ are placing their bets on video

Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. They dominated industry headlines in 2017, and whilst these juggernauts are far bigger than a trend in themselves, it is interesting to note the emphasis that they are placing on video. Let’s take Facebook as an example. They are putting a focus on ‘premium video’ as they recently unveiled the “Watch” tab, which collates original video content from a wide range of partners. These shows will be split into two categories; full length programming and shorter clips. In the future, Facebook Watch’s algorithm will serve up personalised recommendations and playlists. The new innovations that the ‘big five’ are investing in will continue to challenge traditional, linear forms of TV advertising.


Strategic partnerships

Underscore’s work with RTL, a global media group, has opened our eyes to how the media landscape is increasingly being defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers. We are now in “The Trust Economy” and so many believe that leveraging people and their networks is the only way forward, as consumers become skeptical of the promises made by brands. We are currently seeing many companies enhancing their direct-to-consumer businesses, such as CBS and Disney, to combat this trend and we will continue to see this across various industries. The key to businesses’ success in 2018 and beyond will be in establishing and building the right strategic partnerships.


Snackable Content

YouTube, Google, Facebook and Fox have collectively introduced six-second bumper ads, which are set to gain traction in 2018. This push for snackable content is their most recent move on the battleground for engagement. And the initial results are impressive, a recent Google-led study on its bumper ads found that nine out of 10 of them drove ad recall, while 61% lifted brand awareness2. The restriction of six seconds to tell a story presents a real challenge for brands and creatives alike. Clearly content will need to move away from shoving a sales message down your throat and towards creating more engaging, brand led stories. The need for snackable content will also push brands to sustain the conversation across multi-channels.


Omni-channel rules

Television remains the gravitational centre of the advertising world, yet it’s the least targeted and therefore, inefficient. There is currently a strong opinion within the TV industry that integrated solutions make creativity and storytelling more important than ever. From the research conducted in RTL’s TV Key Facts3, it is notable that combining the power of linear reach with digital interactivity in consumer relationships has a positive short term effect on sales and long term effect on the customer’s brand experience. In 2018, we are likely to see more brands leveraging personalisation, multi-device targeting and building a unified user-centric ecosystem with all other forms of media, alongside TV advertising, in an attempt to gain a better ROI.

These trends show how much disruption is currently happening within this industry. Whilst they are important to stay ahead of, the constant thing that will define success within this industry is for the brand storytellers to keep reaching the right people at the right time.

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Today is a great day for new business
Today is a great day for new business