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Origin/General Motors: Q&A with GM's David Spencer Who Shares His Thoughts On Innovation In CTV.

Innovation is the lifeblood of progress for CTV advertisers and Origin's first to market Native CTV ad formats are no exception. So when GM's Manager of Emerging Media and Partnerships, David Spencer, gave us the opportunity to listen directly to a brand about how they view innovation and its role in the future of TV advertising, we leapt.

Here is what we asked Spencer in this CTV innovation Q&A:

ORIGIN: When innovation is handed the spotlight in advertising, what problems do you believe people are hoping it will solve? I.e. attention, awareness, performance or just PR?

GM: "People think innovation should solve advertiser problems. However, the only way innovation can be successful is if it solves consumer problems. The problems that exist throughout the Connected Television ecosystem make the consumer experience miserable (e.g., over-frequency, dead air, awkward navigation, fragmented content control, clumsy authentication). If innovation can solve these problems, advertiser solutions will quickly follow. Consumers must be the first priority."

ORIGIN: What gets you excited about Connected TV vs traditional linear TV and in the ideal world, how should brands balance their connected TV budgets vs their traditional/linear ones?

GM: "The interaction possibilities. Connected TV opens up an entirely new world for consumers in which they can explore content in ways they’ve never before experienced. In the Automotive industry, the big screen plays a vital role in capturing the true brilliance and intricacies of our vehicles. There is so much to explore with vehicles (i.e., interior, exterior, performance, technology, design, accessories) that having the additional real estate of a big screen offers tremendous potential for General Motors. It is our job as General Motors to figure out how to maximize that potential for consumers through their Connected TV experience."

"TV budgets must follow the inventory and the audience. There is still great value in leveraging linear TV to reach certain audiences, but the ability to reach audiences in connected TV is growing. Implementing massive, sudden shifts in advertising has never been a wise strategy. The best advertisers allow data to drive decisions and that’s how General Motors approaches connected TV."

ORIGIN: Do you see GM’s innovation budget growing in 2022 or staying where it is?

GM: "General Motors prefers to infuse innovation throughout our entire advertising approach. Innovation occurs in the methods used to develop our audiences, deliver our media, define our budgets, and measure our success. We place a heavy emphasis on testing technology to help us build a fluid, more informed, and more successful approach to everything we do in advertising."

ORIGIN: Innovation is often tied to failure. In your mind, is it ok for a campaign to ‘fail’ in meeting its KPI's if it demonstrates that you are a leader rather than a member of the pack?

GM: “'Failure' is how you choose to define the word. At General Motors, we consider failure to be the absence of testing. We are constantly running tests that may result in underperformance as it relates to KPIs, but provide invaluable insights for how a technology can help a campaign control frequency or deliver an ad. These insights are far more important for the future of our advertising than the decline in performance."

ORIGIN: Finally, “if you could wave a magic wand over CTV and have it do anything you could imagine, what would you ask it to do for you?

GM: "Universal Access Point - One access point for all content. That would be a silver bullet for consumers that would lead to an explosion of growth. Simplify the user experience and everyone wins."

David Spencer is Manager, Emerging Media & Partnerships. In this role he manages strategy and testing for Advanced TV and Digital Media globally across brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick). Spencer also serves as central media contact for Digital Media publisher and technology partnerships.


Origin is an award-winning creative technology company whose zero code CTV ad formats give marketers unparalleled creative liberty in the living room and outside the home. 

Fusing pioneering production techniques with proprietary technology and direct distribution, Origin's solutions are embraced by media agencies, brands, creative teams and programmatic platforms who understand the value of being able to deliver relevant, engaging and ‘in the moment’ ad experiences to their audience.

Founded by media veterans Stephen Strong and Fred Godfrey, Origin is driven by the simple belief that the time has come to challenge tradition and enrage the status quo. Learn more at


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