The Rise of OTT Has Forced Brands to Overhaul Their Existing Video Strategies

Creating a streaming world we've come to rely on in a way

Not only has TV seen changes with tech, but what consumers want has also drastically changed. Getty Images
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Television and video marketing have changed dramatically in a remarkably short time. Gone are the days of sitting in a cozy recliner after work and flipping through the limited channels available on your cable box. In just one lifetime, we’ve gone from only black-and-white series to CGI-infused spinoffs and more originals than our brains can handle. There’s now a seemingly endless number of television shows and movies available at our fingertips via various OTT and streaming providers.

Here is what some of our Adweek Advisory Board members think about the changes we’ve seen in the TV industry and what that might mean for video marketing on the whole.

An ever-evolving landscape

Not only has the technology behind TV advertising changed, we’ve also seen a massive rise in competitors within the industry. It’s no longer just Hulu and Netflix, as Disney, Amazon, YouTube and others move into the space.

The overwhelming amount of content on so many platforms “has led to viewer fragmentation and a shift to non-traditional platforms to watch programming,” said Colin Kinsella, CEO North America of Havas Media Group. “It becomes increasingly important for brand messaging to be placed in a brand-safe environment where viewers are invested and engaged,” he said.

Baiju Shah, chief strategy officer at Accenture Interactive, pointed to how “half of video subscribers feel that they are paying for content they don’t care about.” He continued, “Marketers then have to find a way to hone in on the content they do care about.”

As for how all this competition will play out? Paul Woolmington, CEO of Canvas Worldwide, has some thoughts: “There will be an oversupply coming for consumers and some incumbents will bleed red ink trying to build market share in the OTT market. Expect more aggressive lines to be drawn in collaboration as well.”

Marketers will need to adapt

With so much change, video marketing will have to conform to keep up, and brands will have to reevaluate their strategies.

“With digital, there are more opportunities to gather data and insights, which enables us to target consumers more,” said Linda Boff, CMO, vp of culture and talent at GE. “We can find very specific audiences in TV environments that impact the kinds of creative we make. At the same time, we need to be more conscious than ever about adding value to the viewing experience as streaming audiences seem to have less tolerance for commercial interruptions.”

Everything needs to focus on the viewer and their specific, personalized experience.

“We live in a world where customer experience now trumps all,” Woolmington said.

Peter Naylor, senior vice president and head of advertising sales at Hulu, emphasized the importance of folding creativity into strategies and “[capitalizing] on what you can do in a browser and beyond.” He continued, “OTT offers a range of creative options you don’t have on traditional linear. Marketers are still in the early stages of fully appreciating what’s possible when they can reach the entire audience via an IP address.”

Ben Lamm, co-founder and CEO of Hypergiant, noted that “the competition will continue to get steeper. … More brands are realizing the importance of video and leveraging the medium for marketing. The best video creators will be competing for attention spans that are only going to get shorter and shorter.”

Lamm continued, “The move to more visual forms of marketing means that brands will need to stop relying on words as a crutch to communicate their brand and connect to their customers.”

@neco_ornot Nicole Ortiz is a senior editor at Adweek, overseeing magazine departments such as Trending, Talent Pool, Data Points, Voice and Perspective.