How Targeted Connected TV Ads Can Influence Travelers

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It starts with a thought: What if this year we went somewhere different?

Then come the dreamy images: you and your loved one sitting on a beach in the Bahamas or drinking wine after a long day of hiking in Italy.

We are all familiar with this process of planning vacation and we all know that there are moments when we’re open to suggestions. Analyzing consumers’ thought process for vacation planning, Google called this initial stage an “I-want-to-get-away” moment.  A third of such consumers haven’t picked out a destination at this stage.

Until recently, the conventional wisdom has been the best way to reach consumers at this stage is via online and mobile ads. But connected TV opens up another intriguing possibility: What if you could target consumers whom you knew were in their “I-want-to-get-away” moment via targeted TV?

Here’s why this tactic could yield great results:

You can reach the whole family at once

Most families start planning travel about six months ahead of time. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that planning far ahead gives them something to look forward to. Another is that planning a family vacation often involves negotiations. Travel experts recommend involving kids five years or older in such discussions to ensure that everyone is on board and looking forward to their vacations. TV is the rare medium that the whole family can watch at once. Some 30 percent of families watch TV together every day.

For the first time, you can reach consumers at the right time

Sure, most people take vacations in the summer, but some 41 percent of people don’t. Some 28 percent of families take three or more vacations a year. Many take winter vacations to enjoy the snow or take advantage of lower costs during different parts of the year. Knowing an individual’s travel patterns or sudden interest in travel (indicated by recent searches for “ski vacations in Colorado” maybe) gives destination marketers a rare opportunity to present TV ads to consumers when they’re right at the point of figuring out where to go on vacation. That’s a better approach than going by seasonality.

For the first time, you can reach the right consumers

TV’s power as an ad medium is well established. A 2015 study found that TV ads offers 4X the sales lift of digital ads. One marketer claimed that one day of broadcast equaled two weeks of digital ad outreach. One major limitation of TV advertising traditionally has been its lack of targetability. But connected TV now offers a means to marry the effectiveness of TV with the targetability of digital.

Like any type of targeting, connected TV ads for travel are effective if they’re executed well. A recent survey by travel publication Skift found that only 40 percent of consumers who saw personalized messages though they were relevant. On the other hand, ads that are too personal might come off as creepy.

As long as marketers respect the consumer’s data privacy though, connected TV offers a way to speak to consumers when they’re in that wonderful state of dreaming about vacation which is often almost as much fun as vacation itself.

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