Advertising isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Viewing patterns have changed, and so advertising strategies must change along with it.
One of those strategies is for brands to integrate themselves more deeply into content of interest to their customers. That means not only placing ads around the programming their target audience is watching, but also having a presence in the programming itself.
The recent premiere of the VIZIO WatchFree+ Features program @Home with Tori accomplishes exactly that. It is our latest partnership initiative with content studios that gives VIZIO viewers early access to unique programming while also providing brands with exclusive advertising opportunities.
This isn’t the blind product placement or clunky brand callouts of the past. We’re talking about a data-informed interaction with the VIZIO audience based on what we know viewers want to see and hear, allowing brands to integrate with the content on a far more authentic, granular level.
And like anything we do at VIZIO Ads… it all starts with the data.
Big Data (Identifying Trends)
When consumers opt-in to share their usage data with us, we take that responsibility seriously, so in exchange we’re committed to delivering more of the content they love.
For instance, our Inscape data told us that many VIZIO viewers were interested in DIY reality shows focused on home, garden, and food. While we’re not content creators ourselves, we can serve as useful aggregators, so we worked with the producers of @Home with Tori to bring the show to those audiences exclusively on WatchFree+.
That exclusive relationship allows us to play matchmaker, introducing our brand advertising partners. The result gives advertisers the ability to integrate more directly with the programming itself, from product placement to brand mentions, and more in an authentic and meaningful way.
Once the show was ready to premiere, we used the same data insights to promote the new show on the Home Screen of VIZIO TV owners most predisposed to that content so viewers interested in specific genres can easily find it.
There’s No Place Like Home
Let’s talk for a minute about that Home Screen promotion of the series. That’s more than just an opportunity to gain more viewers for the show, and the ads/product placement opportunities involved.
It also gives the advertiser the ability to live on the Home Screen in a meaningful way—one of the most powerful properties of the VIZIO platform. The VIZIO home screen is the start of every viewer’s TV journey and a powerful opportunity for brands to make a big splash.
The TV experience has evolved from flipping channel-by-channel or scrolling through a programming grid to now browsing a Home Screen like this. It’s designed for content curation, not displaying ads. But brands that sponsor Features programming will appear in the Hero Banner, curated carousels, channel guides, and other components of the Home Screen.
Those same brands also capitalize on any buzz the show itself generates. Press outlets covering the ins and outs of Tori’s celebrity lifestyle also began mentioning the show as part of that effort. In one particularly newsworthy week, more than 140 articles and related syndicated coverage mentioned Tori and the show. This contributed to a 66% increase in minutes watched for the show over the week prior, and a 2x increase in unique devices tuning in.
That’s one big wave that all participating brands are able to ride along with as the show continues to gain momentum.
A Triple-Play Advertiser Benefit
@Home with Tori premiered with branded content integrations from the likes of Mattel, Hilton and Party City, all of which took advantage of a broad range of advertising opportunities that included:
That’s three different ways a brand can get exposure around the program, all of which work together in a virtuous cycle of next-generation advertising activity.
And let’s not forget, both the ads and the program itself were highly targeted at audiences we already know are looking for exactly that kind of content. Using these data insights, we can help advertisers understand the audience and sponsor DIY-focused content in the show.
By blending the data, the audience targeting and the distribution, and great content, we can find audiences and deliver unique content and brand messages in a way that other platforms can’t, and do it in a more efficient way.
This represents a powerful integration of the hardware that displays the content, the software that powers the experience, the platform that serves the ads, and now the content itself.