Buy National, Run Local - and Personalize

By: Taylor West, Head of Sales at Clinch

When it comes to advertising, it’s no secret that relevancy drives results. Hyper-localization is a key component of relevant brand experiences, and is on its way to be the leading buzzword of 2021, thanks in part to the rise of CTV. Gone are the days of establishing complex media buys based on audience or location, which is expensive and time consuming to set up, monitor, and activate. With omnichannel DCO, you can now control, localize and optimize the ad experiences  in an automated, scalable way through creative decisioning and distribution in real time, across all channels. Even more significant is the ability to apply your learning from one channel to the other, and at the same time generate unique consumer intelligence that results from analyzing user engagement with the specific, personalized creative content. That’s how you achieve true scale while simplifying the process, improving efficiency, and delivering a meaningful relevant experience to your different audiences that translates to revenue and brand loyalty. 

All brands are asking how they can launch CTV campaigns, but savvy brands are asking how they can leverage CTV creative and audience insights across their other campaigns and incorporate into their omnichannel strategy. Don’t forget that the acronym begins with “Connected”.

Media plans are often siloed, yet there is an inherent value that exists when you execute a truly omnichannel strategy. CMOs and other brand decision-makers should be asking themselves “how can I leverage everything I’m already doing in digital, across CTV?” A good place to start is with personalization.

What does ad personalization in a CTV environment look like now

Complex viewer interactivity just doesn’t make sense in a CTV environment. When was the last time you found yourself interested in interrupting your program to click around on your TV screen? Viewers are, however, much more inclined to respond to relevant branded experiences if they are presented in a manner that doesn’t throw a wrench into their viewing experience. One option is to incorporate QR codes. QR codes offer a non-invasive way to engage your customer without interrupting the user experience, and thanks to the pandemic, have been used or considered by virtually anyone with a smartphone for everything from viewing menus to downloading coupons. It’s also incredibly easy to track engagement.

Hyper-localization has been a highly coveted creative component for social and programmatic campaigns for a while, and its adoption has been accelerated by the pandemic. Now, thanks to advanced creative technologies, features such as dynamic maps featuring retail locations closest to the viewer, and location-specific offers, discounts, promotions, and services are taking CTV ads from a pure awareness play to more mid-funnel consideration. When Kia serves a CTV ad for their new Sorento, they generate awareness. When they add a dynamic map that informs the viewer that the Sorento is in stock at their local dealership and offer a zero down payment incentive now through June, they spark consideration.  

Real-time personalization triggers, such as weather conditions, can have a significant impact on our mood and plays a large role in shaping our consumption habits and buyer behaviors. Further, when applied as personalized components of an ad campaign these triggers can achieve great engagement results. This goes beyond serving Campbell’s soup ads when it’s snowing. Weather-based personalization triggers are now so advanced, you can target down to elements like UV index, or pollen count. Most streaming platforms require all ad versions be submitted for approval and compliance with their extensive policy requirements days before deployment, which sounds counterintuitive to a “real-time” delivery; however, the decision and activation process in a CTV ad-serving environment can and should happen in real-time…just with a slightly different execution. 

Ad fatigue across CTV channels is a growing problem. Many CTV platforms lack the demand to fill their ad slots, and multiple SSPs can buy and serve the same creative into the same pods, which runs the risk of excessive frequency and a bad user experience. There is, however, a solution that brands can implement now while we work as a collective industry to solve for something greater. That solution is leveraging automated personalization at scale. If these brands were to make 5 different versions of one ad instead of showing a single ad to a viewer 5 times throughout a program, they would have a much better chance of delivering a positive viewer experience. By changing the messaging, video sequencing, colors, and other sites/sounds, you provide the viewer a different ad experience each time and stand a much better chance of capturing consumer attention in a way that builds interest and knowledge, versus annoyance and opposition. Making video ads is expensive, but generating derivatives of that video ad doesn’t have to be. 

What is in store for the future of CTV ad personalization?

  • CTVs will become CCPs: Connected Commerce Platforms. CTV will soon be regarded as a core driver of commerce for all types of brands. The more you know about your viewers and the more you can engage with them, the more you can start personalizing commerce opportunities to be more valuable/beneficial for your viewers. Perhaps when you are served an ad, rather than seeing a QR code to scan, there will be a way to pause content or talk to your device, to initiate some type of ad takeover. Maybe the application of QR codes will take on an alternate role; e.g. while watching a commercial with products identified numerically, a viewer can say “Alexa- add product #1 to my cart” — driving the connection between audio, creative, and commerce.
  • The second screen might look different than you think. Digital content consumption has already morphed from TV to computer to phone…and now even in some home appliances. Regardless of what comes next, the notion of the “second screen” should be paid close attention to, especially now. Consumers commonly interact with two screens at once, yet advertisers have yet to figure out how to capitalize on the relationship between CTV and mobile phones and other channels. A TV is merely an arrangement of LEDs aligned in a grid…it’s only a matter of time before “TVs” take on other forms beyond a screen in your living room.


We have only scratched the surface of what the future holds for the CTV landscape, and brands are taking it one step at a time. However, brands should start thinking of CTV as a core component of their omnichannel solution, not a separate entity.