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Matt Powell

TV viewing habits are changing. how can your agency media strategy follow suit?

Q&A with Matt Powell

Matt Powell, chief integrated media officer at Dallas-based agency Moroch Partners, shares with us how his agency is tackling the considerations that come with this new way of planning and buying TV advertising. With nearly 20 years of agency experience working on key accounts, such as McDonald’s, Six Flags and Planet Fitness, he brings deep expertise as to how an agency should evolve its offerings to keep ahead of the trends.


How does your agency define advanced TV? And do you consider it the same as connected TV or programmatic TV?

We define advanced TV as any platform that digitally transmits TV content. The ability to digitally transmit has led to platforms offering consumers new ways to view TV content. We see connected TV as a subset of the advanced TV space, and we see programmatic TV as a buying approach to connect marketers to the inventory. We also see TV everywhere, video on demand and addressable TV as part of the overall non-linear TV conversation. The foundation of all these platforms is the ability to utilize data in these environments.

What are the main similarities and differences between buying advanced TV and buying traditional TV?

With traditional TV, the buying processes have been established for many years and still involve direct communication between the publisher (national networks or local TV stations) and the agency. Advanced TV, on the other hand, does not have established processes. We don’t see uniformity in how our partners are approaching this space. If the product more closely aligns with the digital world (i.e., connected TV), the processes mirror that. If the product is closer to the linear TV world (i.e., video-on-demand), the processes work more similarly to traditional TV buying.

Are there any special considerations when developing creative assets for advanced TV?

Most of the partners we work with want to make the process seamless as they are competing for linear TV dollars, even using the same length (primarily :30’s and :15’s). With that said, there are considerations as the creative moves into a digital environment. For example, does the ad have a more direct call-to-action and now requires the ability to click and pixel the creative to track post-impression/click activity?

What are some of the main challenges your agency has experienced in figuring out the best way to buy advanced TV?

We have challenges in a few key areas, which mostly relate back to how new the space is:

  • Our first challenge is education/understanding of the space. Because this space is constantly evolving and our partners are learning it at the same time, it is hard to keep an accurate pulse on the information. The space lacks standardization in reporting, tracking and even how the media partners are cataloging the different tactics.
  • The second challenge is the platforms themselves. We all understand conceptually that the consumer is watching TV in new ways. However, are the platforms vetted for the shift of dollars from traditional TV? Is there enough scale, especially on the local level to make it worth our while?
  • Lastly, we are creating new processes (or merging existing ones) to integrate this into our current media plans and buys.

How would you describe the characteristics of an advertiser who is a good fit for advanced TV?

The most obvious characteristic of an advertiser is that video is a key component of their media plan. Naturally, these emerging platforms are great complements and extensions of existing activity.

Other characteristics would include:

  • They have a video-first approach.
  • They have a more defined audience.
  • They have a younger audience.
  • They want to be on the forefront and have a “test and learn” mindset.

Can you describe a successful case study you’ve seen with an advertiser who has run advanced TV?

Our advanced TV campaigns have been part of an overall integrated video campaign including traditional TV and pre-roll, so it’s difficult to isolate the overall impact.

With that said, we do have multiple clients who have integrated it into their 2017 plans. Dickies, as an example, is a national brand of ours that was already spending in national cable and digital video. A natural progression for them in 2017 is closing the gap by incorporating connected TV (Roku and Apple TV), TV everywhere (ESPN), video on demand (Comcast) and addressable TV through specific cable networks. Their activity begins in Q3/Q4, so we’ll have a better understanding of the overall impact to sales.

Any final pieces of advice for agencies getting ready to pitch advanced TV for the first time?

I would go back to the comment on education. It’s key for the agency to invest time in learning and understanding the space but also taking the client along for the ride.

Advanced TV Series
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