How streaming is helping TV advertisers reach Gen Z on social

Brands on streaming

“When a marketer is looking at their marketing mix model and thinking about, how do I access within digital FAST, AVOD, SVOD, social media, YouTube, it’s really overwhelming,” said FilmRise’s Shah. Efforts like “Follow Me” are becoming more common as brands pursue audiences across the various media they consume day-to-day, which has expanded far beyond just TV.

For Coca-Cola’s roster of brands, each considers its key audience rather than investing heavily in any singular medium, said Robin Triplett, VP of integrated marketing experiences for The Coca-Cola Company North America. The company uses its consumer data to decide where to invest marketing budgets and target audiences across channels. Triplett likened the process to dating—the traditional TV spot is a brand’s introduction to the viewer, then it flirts with the user on social media and custom video content is the full-on date.

In December, Coca-Cola created an anthology mini-series of minimally branded short films that streamed on Prime Video just as an episode of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” does. 

Read more: Coca-Cola launches holiday movie series on Prime Video

“During the holiday season, there is a lot of advertising—how can we think about different ways in the video space to break through,” said Triplett. “[Prime Video] is a great example. It allowed us the ability to create memories and moments more deeply engaging than just a seven-, 15- or 30-second ad.”

Similarly, Constellation Brands, whose brands include Kim Crawford wine and Casa Noble tequila, recently announced a partnership with media company Tastemade to produce and distribute original branded content. “Constellation + Tastemade Studios” will produce food and travel content for Tastemade’s owned platform as well as third-party streamers such as Roku and Fubo, and boost its streaming series through integrations with Tastemade’s network of influencers called “Makers.”

Hyundai has also altered its approach to video advertising for streaming. Angela Zepeda, Hyundai Motor America’s chief marketing officer, said the brand name is still relatively young in the U.S. compared to other automakers. So, the company capitalizes on opportunities to align itself with familiar media partners or programming to build that affinity with consumers, such as an extensive partnership with Disney.

See Disney and Hyundai’s Oscars ad

Reaching streaming audiences, however, “is getting tougher and tougher, for sure,” especially as cord-cutting has driven TV viewership across different forms of video such as streaming, YouTube and TikTok, said Zepeda. 

“That’s why we still do ‘Sunday Night Football’—people still watch live games, but they’re not watching so much other [linear] programming,” said Zepeda, noting that Hyundai has to create a large array of content for each medium. “We have to use it all and build content for all those platforms in a very specific way. That way, when we do show up, we don’t feel like we’re obtrusive to that experience, but that if someone’s interested in seeing more, they can immerse themselves in the content.”

Also read: AMC promises to ‘debunk’ the cord-cutting trend 

For example, Zepeda said she wouldn’t put the same TV spot from “Sunday Night Football” on Amazon’s Fire TV, which gives users options to interact with advertising and select the opportunity to engage with the brand on their own terms.

While media companies including NBCUniversal and AMC Networks have bolstered their branded content studios to surround their programming with brand opportunities both on linear and streaming, the growing scale of digital video beyond the major networks could hold greater opportunities for brands like “Follow Me” moving forward.

“You can take a show that would get 300,000 viewers if you throw it on a cable network or regular network and you can get it to millions of viewers using [streaming] platforms and FAST,” said V10 Entertainment’s Stevens. “That’s where it’s all headed.”