Connected TV (CTV) use is exploding. 87 percent of Americans own at least one connected TV, with about 46 percent of these people watching CTV daily. Advertisers have taken notice and ad spend is growing: in 2023 CTV ad spend will likely exceed $26 billion. Unfortunately, the ad formats typically used on CTV — those traditional 15/30/60 second spots — aren’t optimized for CTV; in fact, they’re a relic of the single-screen, linear television era that began some 70 years ago.
Fortunately, there’s a lot of advertising innovation going on in CTV that’s intended to make better use of CTV’s intelligent infrastructure and thereby improve the chances that advertisers have to gain viewers’ attention. One of these innovators is Origin, a company whose suite of tools can be used to create customized, optimized ad units that run adjacent to the main ad unit, thus “priming” the viewer for the ad message to come.
I sat down with Fred Godfrey, Origin’s Co-Founder and CEO, to chat at length about what how his company came to be, how Origin’s technology works to amplify the impact of a brand’s ad creative by serving relevant content adjacent to ad breaks, and to philosophize about the purpose of advertising itself (Fred has a master’s degree in Moral Philosophy).
As Fred observes, “The biggest problem with TV in this day and age is attention. And it requires a form of value exchange now, between you the brand, and then the viewer who you want, whose attention you want, when everybody has their phone in their hand and someone else that they’re chatting with, you can’t just sit and plaster them with instructions to go and buy something, you’ve got to give them something in return, beyond making them aware of that something that they might need or want exists. And that requires what we call dynamic creative production.”
Fred and I discuss CTV’s targeting capabilities, the powerful role that context plays in successful CTV advertising, and the importance of emotional storytelling. We then talk about product placements, the use of AI for ad creation and real-time personalization, and address several cases where Origin’s technology has been used to boost ad awareness and recall.