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The REVisionists: At Comcast’s Effectv, Local TV Isn’t Just Linear. It’s OTT And VOD Too

The following is a selection from our latest report, “Local OTT: What You Need to Know.” Use the discount code [tvrev25] for $25 off when you purchase today.

Local advertising has taken on renewed importance during the pandemic, says James Rothwell, VP, Global Agency, Brand & Industry Relations at Comcast Advertising. “Whether advertisers are purchasing linear broadcast, set-top-box VOD or OTT inventory to reach audiences, brands are having to adapt and adjust their messaging in close to real time. And given the extraordinary times we are in, they need to think about the ways in which they are conveying that messaging to a wide range of local audiences.”

Q: Can you provide a little background on Effectv, and where it fits into the greater Comcast ecosystem?

A: Effectv is the local TV ad sales unit for Comcast. It’s very much geared towards an audience-based buying model where you can reach audiences across Comcast’s footprint. This allows brands to reach their marketing goals through a variety of different solutions that drive the effectiveness of television advertising while ensuring that they can report and prove the results on the back-end.

Q: What sort of tactics are you using to make this happen?

A: Millions of Comcast subscriber households are tuning into premium content every day through Xfinity. And so, ultimately, there’s an opportunity for local advertisers to target those ads based on geography and what the brand’s marketing objectives are.

Effectv can offer advertising solutions that work to drive brand awareness and solutions that can drive action. We work with national advertisers as well. Depending on their objectives, it might make sense for them to use national TV to create a baseline level of awareness, but then supplement that with local TV to heavy up so that the brand can benefit from higher levels of exposure.

Q: How are you measuring effectiveness?

A: One of the things we’ve been most focused on recently is the idea that TV can be measured much more effectively than ever before.
So attribution has become a really important part of our overall solution set, especially in a moment like we’re in now, where digital retailing has taken over from physical retailing. It’s really important for brands to drive traffic to their websites. We have a solution called Instant Impact that can correlate the airing of an ad to subsequent website traffic within 30 minutes from the time it airs. Proving that TV ads work is critical at a time when advertisers are taking a hard look at their budgets. And local TV in particular has never been in a better place to be able to prove attribution.

Q: What are some reasons you think local advertising is so important to brands right now?

A: There are so many reasons local is important for brands. Maybe they’re national brands and they’ve got different offers or messaging that they want to convey to different parts of the country, something that is especially relevant right now, given the different stages at which restrictions are being relaxed in different states. There are other reasons, too—national brands often want to take advantage of the efficiencies of local TV by testing certain markets, refining buys, seeing what happens if they change the creative messaging, etc., before they ultimately scale to a multi-region or a national level.

Q: How are you helping your clients to use local to get incremental lift?

(to read more of this interview, buy our latest report on local OTT)