Video Buying Options for Independent Expenditure Campaigns

by The Campaign Workshop

Blank tvs up on a wall

Understanding the Different Terms and Tactics for Incorporating Video Into Your Independent Expenditure Campaign

It’s 2019, so by now you’re probably well aware that television extends beyond traditional broadcast and that your independent expenditure campaign’s paid media plan probably should as well. But what is the difference between all these different video buying terms and which tactic is the best for your campaign? We’re here to break it down for you.


Connected Television

The first term we are going to tackle is connected TV. This refers to a television that is connected to the internet in some way and has the ability to stream video content.


OTT (Over-the-top)

OTT refers to devices that can connect to a TV (or are part of a TV— like a smart TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, gaming consoles, and DVR set-top boxes) allowing them to serve internet-based video streaming content.

Video ads placed on OTT/connected TVs are typically bought and sold under the advanced TV category, meaning advertisers can create plans that utilize behavioral data from each household. This allows advertisers to use viewership information such as the ads, channels and programs a viewer is watching and when and how long they watch. This new information has changed the way these video ads are being bought.


Programmatic Television

Programmatic television is an automated, data-driven way of buying linear television advertising. Advanced television advertising can be purchased programmatically through an advertising network or directly from a content provider (like Hulu or cable networks).


Addressable Television

Addressable television is the ability to deliver targeted video ads on a household level. This makes the advertising dynamic, meaning two households watching the same television program could be served two totally different video ads. In short, you’re buying an audience, rather than ad space on a specific program.

So, connected TV and OTT refer to the type of device itself (the actual televisions), while programmatic television and addressable television refers to the type of video buying and targeting you can use on these devices.

But what does all of this mean in terms of how to plan your paid media budget for your independent expenditure? We’re glad you asked!

When you’re building a comprehensive digital advertising budget for your independent expenditure campaign, including video in your plan is not only smart, it’s basically essential at this point. Video can be a powerful way to tell a story and get your messaging across. Of course, when we think of traditional digital video, we think of YouTube and various video players that one encounters online (like when you’re watching a clip from SNL on NBC’s site or a video in an app on your mobile device).

By including connected TV/OTT placements in your digital advertising buy, you can extend your reach to people and deliver those ads to people on their television screens. While these advertisements will appear on a television screen, they differ from traditional television ad buying. You can utilize the advanced digital targeting capabilities to make your spend more efficient. Rather than using traditional broadcast or cable buys and hope the right people are watching the shows where your ads are running, and paying attention to your ads, you can target down to the household level. This also allows you to reach a segment of the voting population who may not even be reachable via traditional television advertising. For example, if your independent expenditure campaign is focusing on reaching younger voters, connected TV/OTT placements are a great way to reach those people who are cutting the cord with traditional broadcast and cable.

Understanding the differences between video buying options will help you create a more effective digital program for your independent expenditure campaign.

Want to learn more about tips for independent expenditures? Check out Joe’s 5 tips here and drop us any questions you may have below.