10 reasons why branded content belongs on smart TVs

25 Oct 2012  |  Jeff Siegel 


Jeff Siegel, senior vice president, worldwide advertising, Rovi Corporation looks at how branded content is developing and moving more and more from online marketing to the larger screen.

Brands looking to develop more meaningful consumer connections are turning to branded content to increase engagement, reach new audiences, and convert immersive brand experiences into sales.

A fusion of advertising and entertainment, branded content has been developed by a broad range of leading brands; everyone from BMW to Marks & Spencer and Chipotle. Incidentally, the latter recently won the first ever branded content Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Lions Festival for their efforts.


Chipotle's 'Back to the start,' created by CAA, won the first branded entertainment Grand Prix.

To date, branded content has strictly been used as a form of online marketing. However, given the rise of internet connected TVs, its time it made the leap to prime time and the larger screen in the living room.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Smart TVs are moving mainstream

No matter whose statistics you look at, connected TVs are rapidly heading mainstream. Parks Associates projects smart TV households in North America will grow to 37 million at year-end 2012, increasing by 40% to 51 million homes by 2013.

By these estimates, 62% of all TV homes will have a smart TV by 2016*. And with every major consumer electronics manufacturer on board with internet connected TVs and Blu-ray disc players, consumers can take their pick from popular brands including, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Panasonic and LG.

2. Nobody can compete with talented cats

The biggest destination for branded content today is YouTube and while we all love YouTube, it's very difficult for brands to rise above the din that is Gangnam and dancing felines. In contrast, connected TVs offer an uncluttered ad environment where compelling content is readily noticed.

3. It's the TV

While good on the small screen, branded content is often professionally produced and high-quality content that screams "take me to the big screen!" And while internet video quality can be great, the smaller screen will never pack the sight, sound, motion and emotional impact and appeal of video on the big screen in the living room.

Source: Global Digital Forecast Workbook, August 2012 Edition, Parks Estimates

4. No wait, it's the web!

Connected TVs bring the capabilities and functionality of the web to the TV. Granted a tad obvious but in advertising terms what this means is that marketers can develop stunning branded content destinations that are highly immersive and can offer multiple videos, rich graphics, as well as advanced interactivity such as QR codes, RFI options, click-to-call, polling, and T-commerce.

Along with a broad range of features, connected TV advertising can also offer marketers detailed campaign metrics providing brands and agencies easy assessment of performance from impressions to viewer interactions.

5. Connected viewers are good looking

Nearly 70% of U.S. connected TV owners have a college degree. In fact, they are 2.4 times more likely than the general population to be college graduates. These fine connected folk are also more affluent than the general population and tend to influence others purchasing decisions.

Over one-half, 55%, of connected TV households earn at least US$75,000 annually. Connected TV owners use this buying power as early adopters of technology products and services - on average each household owns 11 Internet-enabled devices*.

6. People don't like to be interrupted while being entertained

While I'm asserting that branded content should make its way to the living room, I'm not saying it should arrive as traditional 30-second spots. That would doom branded content to the realm of pure advertising, which it is not.

Connected TV advertising is an entirely new form of promotion that's elegantly inserted into the device experience and delivered to the consumer at a point when they are making a decision about what to watch and therefore, before they become engrossed in a piece of content.

New advanced advertising networks provide the opportunity for brands to build customised branded content destinations on Smart TVs.


'Find your AWAY' created by The Richards Group, one of the first branded content campaigns to appear on connected TVs. New advanced advertising networks provide the opportunity for brands to build customized branded content destinations on Smart TVs.

7. People quite like branded destinations

Less intrusive than 30-second spots and DVR-proof, connected TV spots are not only being noticed by consumers but also surprisingly well received. A recent connected advertising receptivity study noted that 67%** of consumers believe connected TV video ads are less disruptive than traditional TV ads.

Better yet, more than 52% of households** exposed to connected ads indicated they were open to advertising while they are searching for programmes to watch. That's correct - consumers said they were open to advertising! In fact, when asked about branded destinations, 67% agreed that they "think of this as content more than advertising**".

*Decipher Research, Rovi Connected TV Advertising Field Study
**Research Narrative, Rovi Advertising Network Receptivity Study

8. Connected content gets noticed

Based on a recent study, in the U.S., 81% of connected TV users' notice the presence of connected TV ads* and a staggering 64% of them indicated they actually respond to them with a click*. Relevant video content is a powerful pay off for consumers and can drive interest and ultimately time with brands agreed 61% of respondents*.

9. Connected content drives action

Based on some campaign samples, connected TV ads are prompting users to do more brand and product related activities*:

- 47% plan to look into the product at a later date
- 38% told a friend or family member about the product
- 33% immediately investigated the product
- 31% visited the brand's website
- 27% purchased the product

10. Folk still love their TVs

In the last three months of 2011, the average American with a TV set at home spent 153 hours and 19 minutes watching 'traditional TV' (TV viewed on a set rather than a computer or a tablet). The average American watches nearly five hours of video each day, 98% of which they watch on a traditional TV set^.

Connected TVs might actually help push this number higher - 13% in a recent study indicated that they would spend more time in front of the tube*.

There you have it: ten reasons why you should be bringing your branded content to connected TVs. Think of it this way, the paradigm is shifting once again. You've invested in high quality, well produced video; now place it where consumers prefer to interact and enjoy it...on the big screen at home.

*Decipher Research, Rovi Connected TV Advertising Field Study
^Nielsen Reports 2012, The Nielsen Company.

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