Should you be advertising during the pandemic?

Should you be advertising during the pandemic?

Programmatic Advertising During a Pandemic

First of all…I’m not going to bullshit you and say you should be advertising. Every business is different. I’ll discuss some of issues and opportunities we’ve come across since the start of this pandemic. You can decide what to do with it.

Display and Video Inventory:
Display and Video traffic across YouTube, the Google Display Network and the Top 4-5 DSP’s is roughly 40% cheaper right now. The pullback in ad dollars last month has left an abundance of available inventory. As a result, CPM’s have decreased significantly.

Is that good for advertisers? Isn’t buying 40% more volume for the same dollar a good thing? We think so….if done correctly. 
I guess it depends on your business too. If you could purchase 40% more inventory right now for your dollar, what would you do?  Would you change your messaging? Focus on branding? Grow your top of funnel remarketing audiences?  

Desktop Volume is Up
With an abundance of people working from home, we’ve seen a 20% increase in desktop volume since March 15th. We’ve switched a lot of our programmatic inventory to desktop, and have utilized bid factors on some of the more prominent desktop ad units. (970×250, 300×600). Of course, this varies from client to client, but many of our clients have been able to reach more of those high quality desktop eyeballs. Especially B2B clients.

Social Media Volume is Through the Roof
I’m not a stockbroker….but I may purchase some Facebook stock this week. FB and Instagram are doing 5x the volume during this pandemic, and despite advertiser pullback, inventory remains filled and rates have remained the same.

But how’s the quality???
It depends on your business. I know I’m taking the easy answer….but it’s true. We have clients that are doing better than ever right now, but for the most part, we have re-allocated high percentages of social media budgets towards heavily discounted programmatic desktop and Connected TV inventory.

Search volume is down. (it’s up in some industries ), but it’s down in total. We’ve recommended to most of our clients; if possible….to maintain a search presence. CPCs are down and search visitors are the highest quality visitors you can ask for. This gives you a primo audience to retarget to….when things get back to normal.

Connected TV (CTV)
We purchase CTV ads directly through our programmatic DSP. With everyone at home, and seemingly nothing to ever watch on cable TV….streaming tv is at an all-time high.
Imagine someone coming to your website and you being able to retarget them on their Smart TV. This is a medium that is still under-utilized by advertisers, and right now is the perfect time to try it out. CTV is booming as we speak, and if you are not capitalizing on it, you are missing out.

Sure, Cable TV is still huge, but it’s getting smaller every single day. This pandemic is only going to expedite the transition from cable to streaming tv. From an advertisers perspective, CTV is far superior than traditional TV advertising. Audience targeting, remarketing, frequency capping, ad sequencing, view-through conversion tracking….Do I need to continue? 

How CTV is improving an advertiser’s ability to connect with hard-to-reach audiences.


Connected TV is currently one of the fastest growing channels in advertising — and it’s not surprising. As consumers turn their backs on traditional tv and flock to streaming services, Programmatic media buying and TV have merged to make room for Connected TV (CTV). As viewing habits change, so too must the advertisers’ approach. Connected TV ads provide a broadcast-quality ad experience, without the drawbacks of the ‘throw it against the wall and hope it sticks’ approach of traditional TV advertising. They are highly targeted, unskippable, and trackable.

CTV is one of the hottest topics right now, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. As I write this article, the entire world is stuck at home watching their Smart TV’s, Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, gaming consoles, and Google Chromecast to name just a few.  They are all saying to each other: “why do we even pay for cable tv?”

To top things off….rates are rock bottom right now.
With the huge reduction in ad dollars, cpm rates are half of what they were in January, 2020. 
There probably hasn’t been a better time to start diversifying your ad strategy towards Connected TV.

Don’t get me wrong. Cable TV is HUGE. But it’s not as huge as it used to be….and it’s trending downwards.

Do you remember back in 2006-2010 when there was an abundance of mobile ad Inventory. Well, Facebook helped fill that gap and benefited greatly from it.
Fast forward 10-15 years and Connected TV is now is in the same boat. Through a simple internet connection, advertisers can now perform audience targeting on CTV, just as they do on mobile devices, desktops and tablets.

So how does CTV work anyway?


Just like audience and geotargeting occurs on desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Smart TV advertising is no different. Smart TV’s are connected through an internet connection.

Through the Mobile Guest platform, our clients are able to reach their target audience on all devices. This provides brands with an omni-channel approach digital ad approach, without wasting ad dollars typically associated with a omni-channel ad campaign.

With a pre-determined reach and frequency set at the campaign level, advertisers are now able to:

  1. Maximize Reach
  2. Control User Ad Frequency
  3. Cut Wasted Ad Dollars

If someone views an ad on CTV, we are able to determine if that consumer initiates an action on their mobile device, desktop or tablet. This is real-time conversion data that is not available with traditional TV advertising.

If you are interested in learning more about Connected TV, and the benefits of how it can help your business, contact us.