BidSwitch/Origin - CTV Supply Side Q&A with Origin Co-Founder & CBO, Stephen Strong
As technology solutions continue to accumulate and collaborate in efforts to create stronger and more effective advertising experiences for viewers, Origin's Chief Business Officer, Stephen Strong, was delighted to have a candid Q&A with the pioneering programmatic solution, BidSwitch.
Here is what they discussed.
First up, please summarize your company’s role in the programmatic industry.
Origin is a pioneering creative technology company whose first to market native advertising solutions elevate the attention that distracted audiences pay to brand ads on Connected TV. One of our products, Slingshot INSTANT, does this by running highly engaging, contextually relevant 15 second native content directly ahead of traditional ad creatives and serving both the native content and brand ad as a single asset across Origin’s portfolio of approved CTV supply partners. Last year, we launched a proprietary CTV-only programmatic exchange that allows DSPs to leverage Slingshot via programmatic channels, giving them the benefit of serving their clients’ ads to more attentive audiences while at the same time achieving greater price and supply efficiencies. IPG studies showed that ads served through Slingshot get up to 88% more attention.
Subscription-fatigue is growing among streaming services. Do you believe this will signal a move from SVOD to AVOD options?
We could definitely see subscription fatigue being a player in the continued rise of AVOD, but it’s more that both will continue to play a role. There are so many free options out there for people when it comes to streaming services.
The CTV boom means more supply options than ever for CTV buyers. How does Origin deliver a unique offering in such a competitive landscape?
At Origin, we believe in two fundamental things - 1) not all ad spots are created equal and 2) CTV faces an existential attention-deficit problem. As such, we embrace a creative philosophy that actively reaches out to and engages the viewer even if they’re distracted or preoccupied during an ad break. It’s why we built Slingshot INSTANT and it’s why Slingshot is one of our fastest growing solutions. It’s completely automatic, 100% self-serve and as a result of its ability to elevate attention, brands see several other benefits such as stronger brand recall and higher search intent.
To truly engage and influence viewers, brands need to get creative about their creative strategies. Simply jamming your ad between other people’s ads in an environment where the viewer’s attention is already an incredibly rare commodity simply is not good enough. For a viewer to tear their eyes away from their phone in an ad break, you need to give them something of value beyond selling them something. They want entertainment. This is precisely what Slingshot does - and the best part is that the trading platforms or agencies serving these ads barely have to lift a finger to make it happen.
CTV advertising isn’t without its challenges. How is Origin tackling issues like ad fatigue, viewer attention, and meaningful audience activation?
Consumers today have an array of streaming TV options, channel owners have to deliver an entertaining experience in order to keep viewers watching during commercials. And yet, it seems like the opposite is happening. More and more platform and channel owners are showing ads that are repetitive or using stagnant “we’ll be right back” messages in their ad breaks. With consumers being inundated with hundreds of ads every day, those obviously aren’t going to cut it and have no shot at keeping the attention of viewers. At Origin, we’ve devised highly adaptive and dynamic creative that dramatically increase engagement across the board, while also addressing issues such as ad fatigue and competitive separation. A great example of this is political advertising. In fact it’s such a perfect use case that we’ve actually invested in creating dedicated ‘variants’ of our native ctv solutions to help manage what’s on the horizon.
We recently concluded a 3 month study with IPG Media Labs that found that ads that featured a native ad extension from Origin were 46.1% more engaging, nearly identical to that of the content engagement at 46.3%. With the right modifications, ads can be just as engaging as the content viewers are watching.
We accomplish this in three ways:
Creating mentally and contextually stimulating content that enables viewers to immerse themselves in the ad break, almost as if it was the content itself.
Leveraging native content creates seamless transitions between content and advertisement.
Designing for easy and seamless brand sponsorship by offering technology that is easy for advertisers to use and creates a flexibility that advertisers haven’t had before.
Strategic partnerships have also proven vital to us addressing key pain points in CTV. Strategic partnerships open both parties to new technologies and data. Our partnership with BidSwitch which enables programmatic buyers to have a seamless connection to Origin supply enhanced by its Instant Native CTV solution, has impacted our clients positively and continues to be important to our business.
Origin is known for its “Native CTV” ad formats. What does native advertising really look like in a CTV environment – and why should buyers pay attention?
In our opinion, a successful CTV strategy translates to viewers seeing their ads frequently enough to enable a natural recall, but measuring just how many times someone needs to be exposed to the ad is not a science and as such can often risk leaving viewers feeling overexposed. This leads to two troubling risks for advertisers: viewers tuning out and turning to other devices while the ad plays, or far worse, developing negative sentiment towards the brand whose ad they see over and over again. Native ad formats can address both of these issues.
This may seem like a no-brainer but successful advertising campaigns are contingent on serving content that is native to the content consumers are already watching.
Consumers view native ads 53% more than display ads. Native ads result in a better quality viewing experience, a smarter way to deliver promos and a new revenue stream that makes rather than costs money. At Origin, native advertising in the CTV environment looks like a seamless extension from the content consumers are already watching to your ad. It is also personalized and relevant to the audience watching at any given moment. We’ve developed technology that allows for brands and advertisers to deliver messages that feel authentic to both the brand, channel and consumer.
The maturation of the CTV ecosystem is happening at different rates from geography to geography. Are you seeing any marked differences between US and European markets at the moment?
While European markets are most definitely opening up quickly, the pace at which we see the US CTV market continue to evolve and grow is still significantly faster. That said, viewer adoption in Europe has finally hit a point where we’re now actively looking into expanding in that direction. I can’t tell you too much, but yes, there is certainly much more to come on that front.
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Origin is a pioneering creative technology company whose first to market Native CTV ad solutions are reshaping the way brands engage and activate consumers on the largest screen in the home.
Fusing dynamic content animation with proprietary ad serving technology, Origin's proprietary Native CTV ad formats elevate attention, recall, consideration and outcomes for brands who want to amplify their voice on Connected TV.
Origin was founded by media veterans Fred Godfrey and Stephen Strong whose careers have been shaped by their relentless commitment to enraging the status quo. Learn more at www.originmedia.tv.
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