Understanding the Power of Creative and Harnessing CTV to Drive Results

Digital advertising demands a harmony between a host of different factors; creative, strategy, and technology all need to be considered in concert to present the perfect message to the right audience at the right time. When executed successfully, brands are able to drive results that really move the needle.


At Incubeta, we’re dedicated to not only helping write success stories for our brand partners, but leading the industry through education and collaboration. Our recent digital event, The Power of Creative and CTV, brought together some of Incubeta’s industry experts including Jade Arenstein, Global Service Lead: Analytics, Data, and BI, and Craig Brown, Head of Delivery for Incubeta US, as well as Isabella Jaye, Head of Strategy & Partnerships for SpeakEasy Political.

The event covered a range of topics from creative best practices and campaign strategy to consumer behavior forces and local influencer marketing, down to the ins and outs of OTT and CTV strategy.

Making the Most of Creative

No matter how good a strategy is, without the right creative a brand’s messaging will still struggle to resonate with an audience.

“Creative is the only component of our campaign planning that the user actually sees,” Arenstein says.

As event moderator and Incubeta US Chief Client Officer Andrew Henry points out, 75% of advertising impact is determined by creative quality. But what determines quality creative? The list of best practices is extensive; Henry breaks down some of the high-level considerations into three groups: imagery, copy, and video.

For imagery, some best practices include:

  • Scroll-stopping, or having an image that’s visually arresting in a customer’s feed
  • Tightly cropped images that feature bright, natural lighting
  • Added branding including logos so a customer creates brand recognition and association

In terms of copy, considerations include:

  • Strong headlines
  • Strong calls to action
  • Uniformity of message between CTAs and exit URLs

Finally, for video, Henry highlights these hallmarks:

  • Developing video specifically for the platform it will run on
  • Quick edits and fast pace
  • Bookended branding elements to ensure ad recall

As Arenstein points out, the average American sees an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 advertisements every day. However, by heeding these best practices as well as remaining highly relevant to audiences and providing a clear message and offering, brands can see excellent returns on their ad spend.

Incubeta deployed this creative approach through a “micro-moment” strategy—designed to speak to users in the right way, at the right moment in their car buying journey—on behalf of client Hyundai. To execute this strategy, Incubeta had to leverage automated tools to create the volume of ads necessary to provide targeting and testing. In fact, since the campaign’s 2020 launch, the strategy saw more than 14,755 unique Facebook ads.

Through a willingness to test and learn, a strong partnership between agency and client, and embracing innovative tools, the campaign saw 3x more leads on launch, and a 6.25x increase in leads than before the partnership was established.

How Consumer Behavior is Shaping Creative Decisions

It goes without saying that best practices for creative are always evolving as new technologies impact the way users navigate media platforms. Take video streaming as an example, as more consumers interact with it, these interactions occur more frequently in public, which in turn has led to more consumers watching video without sound. As these consumer behaviors evolve, video platforms need to adjust accordingly by including captions and on-screen text.

The consumer relationship to social media platforms has also led to a rise in new forms of marketing, including influencer marketing. While many brands associate this form of marketing with high costs as they attempt to share the audience with influencers who have thousands or millions of followers, local influencer marketing can be a high-impact, low-cost strategy for localized awareness campaigns.

As Isabella Jaye of SpeakEasy Political explains, local influencer marketing was a successful strategy across a number of campaigns including a rent relief initiative—which saw a 40% better performance than previous vertical benchmarks—and a 2020 Census campaign which drove the highest self-response rate when audiences were hyper-targeted based on county.

Making the Most of the Rise in CTV and OTT

Perhaps one of the biggest changes in consumer behavior influencing strategic and creative decisions, however, is the rise of CTV and OTT. Currently, 85% of US households now have some form of streaming service compared to just 71% that have standard cable, down from 88% in 2010.

As the streaming service landscape continues to fragment, and established streaming services like Netflix begin experimenting with ad-enabled subscription models, it presents a world of opportunity for media buyers looking to take advantage of these growing audiences.

“CTV is probably going to be the biggest shift in marketing dollars since Google launched properly and offline dollars started moving online onto paid search,” says Craig Brown.

Yet since the makeup of the streaming marketplace is so fragmented, buying in such an environment presents an increasing degree of difficulty for brands looking to tap into this market and raise awareness. Further complicating the issue is the land grab occurring from competing forces: traditional media buyers and planners and digital programmatic buyers.

By understanding the benefits of buying both directly and programmatically, mapping a clear strategy with set goals, and learning the ins and outs of what defines success in the space, brands are able to share in the potential that CTV offers. One of Incubeta’s iGaming clients saw a 13% increase in total acquisitions through a focused CTV and OTT campaign, for example.

The media environment and consumer behaviors may be constantly evolving. But approaching digital advertising with sound strategy, an openness to technological innovation and, perhaps above all, compelling creative, is a proven recipe for success.

What Else Was Discussed in the Event?

  • The ins and outs of leveraging automation in advertising
  • How to measure desired impact of local influencer marketing
  • Which types of brands can benefit most from CTV and OTT campaigns
  • The challenges of dynamic creative planning
  • The unique benefits of each individual social platform
  • Measurement recommendations for CTV
  • Much more!

Watch the entire event on demand here. For more information on Incubeta and our services, get in touch today. Please join us for our next global event on Tomorrow’s World Thursday, September 22. 


Register For Our Upcoming Event Here


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