WTF is Performance TV?

We don’t need to sell you on Connected TV (CTV) ads.

As the adoption of CTV content like AVOD (Ad-supported Video On Demand) continues to skyrocket–high fives all around, Tubi–brand’s are shifting budgets away from Linear Television. The benefits couldn’t be more apparent: nearly a third of marketers believe CTV directly drives sales for their business.

If you just look around the web, it’s pretty clear why: streaming content is everywhere, and more importantly, it’s being consumed by everyone.

Take for instance the popularity of Netflix’s Squid Game. At first glance, the show doesn’t seem to have broad appeal, but it still managed to develop a cult following on a global stage. The anti-capitalist content of Squid Game commanded attention, but I don’t think the show’s popularity would have reached such a scale if the world hadn’t been glued to their streaming devices. This lead to a windfall of engagement and virality, ranging from memes and new food trends to even scam crypto accounts.

Before you say anything, yes, clearly Netflix doesn’t run ads. But as consumers look for more budget-friendly options for streaming entertainment–and data privacy regulations restrict the insights brand’s have into their target audiences–the opportunities to run data-backed creative on ad-supported platforms will only multiply exponentially in the coming years.

But you can’t hijack that kind of streaming traffic through social media ad placements alone. You need to go where the attention is already at: Connected TVs.


So, yeah, obvious facts: CTV is a platform where a good chunk of ad dollars will go in the future. But here’s something that may have been off your radar. On CTV, you can be more intentional, and thoughtful, in what you do with your ads once they hit streaming.

Let us introduce you to Performance TV.

Pioneered by the ad tech Jedis at MNTN, Performance TV brings the living room quality look and feel of legacy Linear TV ad creative and merges it with the reporting and performance power of digital marketing channels. Think of it like Google and Facebook but, you know, for the biggest screens in your house.

What does this all mean in a nutshell? Connected Television has become a digital marketing channel.

CTV’s incredible traffic growth is projected to sustain for years to come. But it’s the nuanced targeting capabilities that allow you to fine tune your audience for any objective—from awareness to conversion–that makes CTV the future of performance marketing.

So WTF is Performance TV, and how can marketers and advertisers begin to utilize it today?

Keep reading to find out.

Learn More: Your Guide to Connected TV Video Ad Specs

Connected Television: A Brief Overview

Connected TV refers to digital content accessed by apps and streamed over smart TVs, mobile, or OTT devices. But when the term CTV first landed in the market, it referred to any television that can connect to the internet—a trend that started growing in the mid to late 2000s. Turns out the introduction of Smart TVs to the market caused quite a stir.

Audiences love using television sets with integrated Web 2.0 features to consume content. Lucky for them, there’s an ever-growing number of platforms to add variety and excitement to their streaming habits. Viewers can choose among apps like Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu—and devices like PlayStations, AppleTVs, Chromecasts, or Amazon Fire Sticks—to watch their favorite films and shows.

As Connected TV draws larger and larger audiences, it’s had predictable effects on advertising budgets. As viewers are changing their viewing habits, brands are shifting their budgets. They are withdrawing from legacy broadcast network advertising and spending more on streaming platforms, where they can precisely target their viewers. 

The pandemic has greatly accelerated trends that were in place before 2020. As a recent Adweek article notes, “almost every programmatic player has cast a line in the CTV ocean, hoping to reel in a piece of the $65 billion in linear media spend that many view as up for grabs in the new streaming reality.” 

This means that a lot of money and a lot of viewers are in play. And that means that there’s a huge opportunity for advertisers.

To take full advantage of this performance channel, QuickFrame co-hosted a webinar with MNTN (formerly Steelhouse) where we shared creative and strategic best practices for producing CTV/OTT video ads.

Advantages of CTV

If you’re addicted to binging, you’re already familiar with the advantages of CTV for makers and audiences. These include: 

  • More offerings
  • Increased diversity of content
  • The ability to target niche audiences

And these are true for CTV advertising as well. And there’s another advantage that CTV has over Linear TV for advertisers —the ability to turn CTV or streaming into a performance marketing channel (well hello Performance TV) where advertisers only pay for measurable results, like a click or a sale.

Performance marketing is becoming increasingly prevalent and popular. It is a highly pragmatic way of paying for marketing, and it makes sure you get a real return on investment. It’s also the only way to really know if you’re actually reaching consumers. 

The newfound prominence of performance marketing is due to recent worldwide changes in digital marketing. These include:

  • The deprecation of the third-party cookie on search engines like Google, meaning that advertisers can no longer simply track users as they surf across the web
  • Data privacy regulations, including a slate of state and federal laws intended to safeguard consumer data and privacy, reflected in private companies’ newfound pledges of responsibility, like Apple’s App Tracking Transparency
  • The ability of consumers to opt-out of being tracked

These changes are seismic. They mean that marketers can no longer get a perfect demographic picture of their users and proceed to micro-target them. It’s comforting to know that our devices aren’t listening to us, but marketers will have to radically change the techniques that they’ve relied on over the years.

The third-party cookie system was far from perfect, as anyone who has been served the same ad over and over can attest. Performance marketing still paints an accurate picture of consumer behavior, and it might be a more accurate picture than ever. Think of it more as a conversation with potential consumers, when it used to be a monologue delivered in the hope that they would listen.

THE BASICS: CTV & OTT Advertising: A Guide for Marketers

Unlike the third-party cookie, Performance TV allows marketers to see what’s working and what isn’t from the get-go. It works in concert with the new trends in digital media and consumption. And it provides marketers with an excellent way of: 

  • Targeting consumers successfully
  • Knowing how to attribute success and how to build on it in the future, and
  • Measuring their campaigns’ success in the most granular way possible.

So how can marketers take advantage of this?

Hear from MNTN CEO Mark Douglas on why why Performance TV’s capabilities are redefining what’s possible with television advertising.

It All Comes Together With Performance Television

Performance Television allows advertisers to alter the nature of TV advertising by combining the impact and prestige of TV with a suite of optimization, attribution, and targeting methods. Performance TV uses the taste and self-selection of your audience to funnel them to your brand, in the same way that search engine or social media channels do. 

Performance TV gives advertisers freedom. It allows you to launch self-managed campaigns and focus on conversions and revenue. Its results can meet or exceed those of search and social at massive scale. That’s why industry leaders like Coach, Montblanc, Alexander Wang, YETI, and many others are using Performance TV to reach customers. Performance TV lets them find new customers with highly-targeted, conversion-optimized Connected TV campaigns. 

Performance TV offers new and different ways of thinking about marketing across the board at every stage, including:

  • Prospecting
  • Retargeting
  • Attribution
  • Measurement

It’s simple and user-friendly to set up. You can get your campaign started in minutes by uploading your creative via Dropbox or by dragging and dropping. The platform automatically makes sure that your video marketing content is up to quality standards. After that, enter some information about the audience you want to reach, set your budget, and goals for your campaign, and launch. After that, you can see continuous data on your ad’s reach and performance, allowing you to tweak once your campaign is live.

How Connected TV Helps Brands

A slew of case studies are the easiest way to illustrate how connected and performance TV help brands:

  • Lighting New York, a company specializing in residential and commercial lighting, was looking for a retargeting ad solution that would bolster its revenue performance and increase their revenue consistency. Performance TV retargeting allowed them to integrate television into their overall direct-response ad strategy, allowing shoppers to be reached whether they were streaming on CTV or watching on web or mobile. In the words of Aaron Covaleski, the Digital Advertising Manager for Lighting New York, “performance TV lets us attach measurable revenue goals to a TV campaign…. it proved to be an effective way of getting website visitors back to the site to convert, and delivered results we couldn’t be happier with.”
  • For glasses company EyeBuyDirect, the use of Performance TV funneled more shoppers to their site — so many that site traffic jumped 14%. In the words of EyeBuyDirect’s Marketing Director Miguel Ramos, “Performance TV yielded a substantial amount of new site traffic, while their digital retargeting campaigns helped us seal conversions lower on down the funnel.” 
  • The dating site Plenty of Fish was looking to stand out in a crowded field and needed a new channel for subscribers to augment their paid search efforts. Plenty of Fish was able to continuously optimize their results on Performance TV to reach the right audience and drive conversion, raising awareness of their brand with the precise audience they were looking for. 
  • A leading on-demand fitness platform was looking for a way to expand its growth strategy and reach people looking to stay in shape without going to the gym. Performance TV delivered them valuable new traffic and consumers at a cost of only $3.74 a visit (you can read more about the technical aspects of the campaign here).

Performance TV is a great way for brands to reach viewers who are already engaged: viewers are far more likely to watch a short, entertaining ad before a half-hour or one-hour-long show than before a one-minute YouTube video.

In short, the simplicity and effectiveness of CTV are why more and more advertisers and brands are gravitating toward CTV and away from traditional advertising venues.

Performance TV and Creativity

An example of a CTV ad QuickFrame enabled Twillory to create.

Adweek, while noting the enormity of the CTV market, also makes it clear that the boom comes with pain points. One of these pain points is especially relevant here: that “network-quality inventory [of ads] is scarcer.”

In Performance TV, your audience is already looking to settle in and binge their favorite show. Getting their attention isn’t the problem. Keeping it is. That’s why, with Performance TV, the most important aspect of your marketing strategy isn’t media buying and planning, but the quality of your creative output.

To be effective, streaming ads need to feel of a piece with the kind of content you’d expect on Netflix. “Living room quality” is the benchmark — in other words, your creative campaign has to feel like something you’d choose to watch on a television in your living room. That doesn’t mean these ads need to be expensive to produce. New technologies help keep costs down, but so does a thoughtful approach to what you need.

Performance TV is able to use data to see how an ad resonates with your audience. That means you can keep iterating your ads until you know that what you’re producing is reaching your audience. You can make large or subtle changes, and even if your needs change over time, you’re still covered and can make continuous, almost real-time, improvements. 

But you still need to start with quality content. It’s actually very liberating. Performance TV allows you to put your focus where it matters most: on the conversation you’re having with your audience. It also gives you clear and measurable ways to keep track of how your ads are performing, which you can correlate with your ad campaign’s overarching goals and KPIs. But if it’s a boon, it also sets a high benchmark.

As Plenty of Fish saw, the use of high-level, broadcast-quality ads was critical in fueling their expansion The same is true for other brands that use Performance TV, like Seven for All Mankind, a maker of high-end jeans. They needed their advertising to be the same high quality as their brand. Some platforms, like Apple TV, emphasize aspirational content, which means that your ads need to be up to Apple’s standards.

On the plus side, the emphasis Performance TV puts on creativity and ingenuity gives advertisers an even playing field. The best creatives win, and that can mean a lower ad spend. Take celebrity endorsements. MNTN TV tested its own Performance TV ads against spots that featured their Chief Creative Officer, and bona fide movie star, Ryan Reynolds, and found that the Performance TV B2B campaign far outperformed the spots featuring Reynolds

If you need new content, consider reaching out to a firm that takes a marketplace approach to advertising to produce your spots. This is more cost-effective and faster than producing ads via the traditional approach. If you already have high-quality ads ready to go, you can use those — the performance TV platform will do a quality check and analyze your content to make sure it’s up to “living room quality” standards.

And don’t worry about Ryan Reynolds. He’s doing fine.

Performance TV: The Takeaway

Performance TV is the way of the future for brands and advertisers — but it’s also the way to reach consumers now

If you’re wondering how to make sense of this new landscape and put your audience first in order to reach them in the most effective way, reach out to QuickFrame. We use a marketplace approach to video production, putting quality CTV ads within reach at a friendlier budget and more quickly than traditional ad firms. 

QuickFrame’s smart, dedicated, expert team is there to help you reach consumers and grow your business now, all in the most efficient and intelligent way possible. Let us help you use the power of Performance TV to craft campaigns that are memorable, targeted, and easily measured.


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