The Total TV Guide to Telling Stories

When marketers look to tell their stories and deliver better advertising across multiple screens, they need to consider the entire video ecosystem through a single lens: that of Total TV.  Videology’s EMEA Managing Director, Jana Eisenstein, explains.


The media landscape is increasingly fluid, particularly as it relates to the interplay of technology, advertising and content. Devices are transforming the way consumers watch programming. Broadcasters and distributors are evolving their traditional business models, and advertisers are more questioning of where and how they should be reaching consumers to tell their brands’ stories.

According to a new analysis by Thinkbox of 2016 professionally produced video consumption in the UK, TV accounts for 74.8% of UK video viewing (including Live TV, Playback TV, Broadcaster VOD). Despite all the disruption, all these new behaviours and newly enabled devices, the truth is that TV is still the unchallenged incumbent at the top of the media league. However, it is important to recognise that TV is not the only game in town, other platforms now provide significant additional viewing.

It is something to celebrate because it means more opportunities for advertisers. That’s because thanks to programmatic technologies, great TV content now frequently comes with the data to allow us to target people at the right time and in the location where messages are most effective.

What we are experiencing is the new age of cross-screen storytelling. Optimisation at scale in the most powerful media environment of all – Total TV or, TV content wherever and however it is watched – is becoming normalised.

The Total TV concept is rooted in the evidence that while linear broadcast TV will remain the centre of gravity for the foreseeable future, across nearly all audiences, viewing is now split across a more complex ecosystem of devices, distribution and consumption that are enabled by emerging technologies that support video.

When marketers look to tell their stories and deliver better advertising, they need to create strategies that take a unified and holistic approach to the video ecosystem, rather than simply point solutions that solves for a single channel.

Similar dynamics in the US have encouraged brands to create a new model of storytelling enabled by a Total TV approach. Ahead of the Super Bowl - US TV’s most expensive airtime – ads now get their first outing, often as teasers or partial views on digital platforms well before they appear in the big screen breaks that attract American TV’s biggest sporting audience of the year. The result is greater reach and engagement than would be possible if the ads only appeared during the game.

The key to this type of storytelling approach is to rigorously evaluate all video platforms and distribution devices, understanding and respecting the fact that all have a role to play in the advertising effort.

It’s not easy to get this right but the rewards for progressive marketers are huge.

Our recent study, conducted by a global marketing foresight consultancy Gain Theory, found that online video, deployed in connection with linear TV, delivers on average a positive ROI of 1.27 times higher than just TV in isolation.

It also found – using first party offline sales data over 12 months – that broadcaster video inventory delivers the greatest ROI. No surprise, perhaps, the best content delivers the most engaged consumer.

Marketers who are still confused by today’s media landscape need to demand TV and video campaigns that are planned, executed and evaluated in totality, using common technologies and common metrics – a way to deliver on the promise of a single view of the viewer.

Advertisers need to use data at every stage of the journey not just to identify the right consumers to target but also to adapt their messages as they move between a multitude of screens on their purchase decision journey.

Total TV is a powerful force, with video complementing linear TV to take overall viewership to an all-time high. Total TV will power even greater brand storytelling but only if marketers are willing to take a unified and holistic approach to the video ecosystem.

Total TV = Telling Stories Across Screens.

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