TV’s Upfronts are an Opportunity To Invest in Purpose-Built Creative

If there’s one thing we’re expecting to hear about at this year’s upfronts and NewFronts, it’s the performance marketing capabilities of TV. While TV advertising used to be a channel reserved for brand awareness, Connected TV and Over-the-Top platforms have dramatically advanced the possibilities. 

Now, you can implement performance marketing strategies in streaming television campaigns. Why? 

First, CTV allows advertisers to target specific audiences. TV advertisers aren’t just showing a broad acquisition ad to a general audience anymore. Since you know a certain audience is going to see your creative, you need to customize it in a way that urges them to take action. 

Additionally, with relevant data—including being able to connect the dots between when a viewer sees your ad and then takes an action, like visiting a website or making a purchase—you can follow consumers throughout the entire buying process. 

But, with more (performance) power, comes more responsibility. These enhanced capabilities mean brands need to be highly intentional about how they are planning and producing their ad creative. 

Here, we’ll explore the concept of purpose-built creative, why it’s important, and how marketers can put this concept to work in their future campaigns. 

What is Purpose-Built Creative? 

Purpose-built creative is, well, creative built with a purpose. More specifically, it means leading the entire video production process with your goal, audience, or data front and center. 

If a brand knows they want to target a few different audience demographics (like by age or interest) or if they have specific goals in mind (like increased conversions or site traffic), they should take these into consideration as they plan their creative. This allows them to purposefully focus this campaign on this specific goal or objective. 

For example, let’s say your brand wants to connect with a group of people who enjoy traveling. With Performance TV, MNTN’s CTV ad platform, you can use audience targeting tools to reach people with travel and travel-adjacent interests. 

While this specificity is helpful in reaching the people you want, you also need to provide them with content they want to see. In order to do this, you’ll need to keep this audience in mind while you create your video. You might want to ask questions about the audience, including: 

  • What deals or offers have resonated with your audience in the past? 
  • Which messaging style or value propositions have driven higher conversions? 
  • Which talent is the most relatable to your audience? 

While you used to have to create broad creative and hope it stuck with someone, you can now create a more specific video. 

Why Do I Need Purpose-Built Creative? 

Like we mentioned above, you’re not just targeting a general audience and hoping your ad sticks anymore. 

From social media to streaming, you’re using advanced targeting capabilities to reach a specific audience with specific likes, dislikes, needs, and more. So if you send out a general, one-size-fits-all (and—let’s be honest—it never really does), it’s not going to resonate. 

Purpose-built creative is intentionally crafted to increase a brand’s chance of successfully achieving their goals or resonating with their audiences. By focusing on your goals throughout the entire production process, you’ll be able to ensure they’re also front and center in your finalized content. 

Creating Content with a Purpose 

So, what does purpose-built creative really look like? 

It can be a nearly endless list, but here are a few examples. You can…

Let your target audience inform the featured talent. 

Don’t cast people who will resonate with a broad audience when you can be more intentional. Keep your target audience in mind, so you can cast relatable talent for them to connect with throughout your video. 

For example, if you’re looking to reach a Gen Z audience, you’ll want to use talent who is within the age group. This helps your audience in a number of ways, including by connecting to your video quickly. As soon as they see someone they can relate to, your audience will know this video is meant for them. 

Even though you’re targeting a large number of people within the audience, relevant talent helps your audience feel like the ad is more personalized. It also helps your audience connect with the brand. Though subtly, this shows viewers that your brand has taken the time to get to know the audience they’re trying to reach. 

Use legacy data to inform future creative decisions. 

Creative with a purpose can (and should) be data-driven

Even if your brand has never run a TV campaign before, you likely still have useful data for your first campaign. Audit your previous social media or search campaigns to draw insights about your audience. You can learn more about: 

  • Which CTAs converted best for your campaigns 
  • Which value propositions related best to your audience
  • Which talent was most relatable to your audience 

Rather than diving aimlessly into your first TV advertising campaign, utilize the data from previous campaigns as a jumping-off point. While these likely won’t be your go-to elements for the next campaign, they’re a great place to start. 

Strategize variations of a video’s opening hook. 

You need to grab your audience right away. 

(Not literally, that’d be weird, and you’d have to reach through a TV screen, so there are a couple of problems already.)

My point is: you need to hook your audience to your video content right away. With so much content on Connected TVs and secondary devices, getting their attention quickly is critical. 

Once you have their attention, viewers are more likely to stick around and finish watching your ad. So, shoot a few different versions of your opening hook to find out what’s keeping your audience engaged and what has them turning away. 

By utilizing purpose-based creative within a testing strategy, you can continue to refine your video content and find out which elements are most effective at capturing your audience’s attention. 

Plan a variety of CTAs focused on performance goals.

Every element of your video marketing can be purposefully created. One way you can optimize your content is by testing and understanding which calls-to-action work best with each objective. 

Maybe your audience is captivated by vague ads with QR codes—or maybe they won’t even look at them. Or, maybe your conversions increase drastically when you send viewers to a landing page first. Maybe your audience doesn’t want to waste any time and wants a concise and direct CTA. 

To figure out what works for your audience, you’ll want to create video content with different CTAs and test them against one another. Then, once you’ve got insights from your audience, you can optimize the content and engage with more viewers. 

Experiment with new platforms to discover fresh creative insights.

Purpose-built creative is a great way to experiment on a new platform without starting from scratch. 

For example, many brands are utilizing TikTok as a video testing laboratory. Built on bold creative, TikTok has redefined the types of videos audiences are eager to watch. This dramatic shift makes it the perfect platform for testing new creative approaches and pressing the boundaries of what you think will resonate with your audience. 

Once you’ve tested different strategies, video styles, and other elements on TikTok, you can take everything you’ve learned back over to CTV—and leave behind the aspects that didn’t quite work. 

Final Thoughts on Purpose-Built Video Creative

As this year’s upfronts and NewFronts unfold, we’re excited to explore the performance-based possibilities available for advertisers, and we hope you’ll take this opportunity to create more purpose-built creative. Being able to connect with your target audience through TV advertising is incredible—but it also means you need to create content to engage with that specific audience. 

When crafting your purpose-built creative, there’s one bottom line: if you can be more intentional, be more intentional. 

By keeping the reason you’re creating the content in the first place at the forefront of your video production process, you’ll be able to make video creative that resonates with your audience and moves them through the sales process.

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