You Down With OTT?

Heather Nihiser

Lately, you may have noticed that people are watching television in much different ways. As a result, we’re increasingly seeing the value for certain client campaigns to run in an OTT campaign. But what exactly is OTT?

OTT stands for “Over the Top.” Simply put, it’s a means of watching your favorite shows and movies via the internet. You can watch on the go with your phone or at home on your laptop, tablet or TV. How do you access this content? Like many people these days, you probably have at least one streaming subscription (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to name a few), and these streaming services can be accessed directly through your smart TV or devices, or on streaming players like Roku or Apple TV. All of these options allow the viewer the convenience to watch their program on their time. 

So, what exactly does all this mean for advertisers?

TV viewership has become increasingly fragmented over the years with the advances in technology and the emergence of streaming services. We are all so busy with work, family, and our social lives, that it’s becoming more and more difficult to be home and ready to sit down and watch This Is Us at 9pm every Tuesday. In other words, “appointment viewing” is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, people choose to watch when the chores are done and the kids are in bed. It’s their time to sit back and unwind. As a result, your ad is reaching the intended audience at a time when the only thought on their mind is enjoying their favorite show. They are more engaged in the program, which translates to being more aware of your message. Most have their phone sitting next to them ready to look up your website once they’ve shown interest in your product.

Another advantage in OTT advertising comes down to the competition; as you may have already noticed, most of these OTT commercial breaks are filled with national advertisers. When you watch traditional TV, I’m sure you’ve noticed more than one car dealer, restaurant or financial institution in a short amount of time. OTT can set you apart by reaching a whole new audience in a space your competition is not. Being first will not only allow you to stand out from your competition, it will increase your top of mind awareness (TOMA), which is a serious benefit of this type of advertising strategy.

At Ad Lab, we’ve begun building an OTT schedule into all of our traditional television buys, allowing clients to not only get the right reach and frequency on traditional viewership, but also connect with viewers that watch programming on their own schedules. Taking your message to the viewer, no matter when or where they are watching, keeps you at the top of customers’ minds, which is right where you want to be.