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The Future of Shoppable TV Ads? It Isn’t QR Codes

Published on Oct 18, 2023

The Future of Shoppable TV Ads? It Isn’t QR Codes
Marketing Dive
Marketing Dive

The following is a guest piece by Peter Hamilton, senior director of ad innovation at Roku. Opinions are the author’s own.

Last year’s Super Bowl cut the ribbon bringing the decades-old TV spot to life. Coinbase premiered a spot where a mysterious QR code glided across the TV like a DVD screensaver. The results? Coinbase saw app installs grow 309% week-over-week, according to Sensor Tower. The 20 million hits to the company’s landing page in one minute was six times higher than previous benchmarks.

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However, QR codes are just the beginning. The future of actionable ads on the largest screen in the home will make shopping on TV as easy as it is on social. Here are four data-backed keys to future-proofing your creative strategy to win in a world where all TV ads will be interactive:

TV remotes outperform QR codes

Shoppable QR codes were originally built upon the simple notion of providing customers with quick access to information on products they wished to purchase. As consumer habits have changed over time, interactivity and innovation within shoppable ads must continue to evolve with it.

QR codes can create friction. A viewer must hold up their phone, open the camera, capture the QR code, open the web browser and then begin the checkout experience. Many get lost along the way or simply run out of time. The brand moment is lost.

Instead, shoppable ads that start with the TV remote deliver a quicker path-to-purchase for marketers and for consumers. The ad appears on the TV screen, and consumers can react with just one click. The results of collapsing the marketing funnel? Shoppable ads on TV using a remote to purchase the product drive about four-times more conversions than the same ads when using QR codes, per Roku’s live advertiser campaign data. Making the experience easy for the viewer means a better, effortless experience for consumers.

Longer ads perform better

Our research finds that 30-second spots perform three-times better than 15-second spots. Sight, sound and motion tell a story. When consumers lean back to watch TV, they need a moment to understand the brand, the product and the value proposition. They expect storytelling on the largest screen in the home.

For marketers, this provides an exciting opportunity to go beyond the traditional banner or buy-now promotion. Creatives can take television story telling they know and love and go bigger and bolder.

Frequent calls-to-action win the day  

Psychology research has long suggested that when we recall an experience, our memories focus on what happened at the peak and what happened at the end. This “peak-end rule” is present throughout our life. For instance, the highlights of last week’s tennis match might have that one spectacular rally and the feeling at match point.

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However, shoppable ads require calls-to-action early and often to close the sale. This helps educate viewers that the spot is, in fact, shoppable. Quick and consistent priming builds expectation and avoids missed opportunity. When actors or celebrities in the spot tell viewers that the product can be purchased from their TV, conversions can improve more than four times, per Roku data. Even a visual or voice reminder in the creative can deliver two-times improvement.

Reducing friction in the funnel   

William Gibson said, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” The next generation of leading marketers won’t settle for the QR codes. They’ll take the canvas that is TV to bring action to life and create more of what consumers love.

This article was written by Peter Hamilton from Marketing Dive and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].