It’s more important than ever to have a good slate of ad analytics data available to brands and advertisers. Perhaps one of the most important, yet most overlooked, pieces of advertising data available out there are the ads themselves. While many portions of an ad can be quantified without seeing it, it can be difficult to get the full picture from just numbers. A creative can tell you a great deal about who a brand is targeting, what message they are reinforcing with visuals, and what feelings they want to evoke in viewers. These creatives will often vary depending on the platform serving them, so it's important to monitor creatives across linear, digital, and especially Connected TV streaming. This is why a fully integrated ad tracking platform is critical.

Modern Ad Tracking

For both advertising and marketing professionals, as well as consumers, CTV is all the rage. The explosion of smart TVs, streaming platforms from almost every major media/tech company, and a year stuck inside because of Covid, has made it easier than ever to reach viewers on their connected devices. Covid has also rapidly expanded CTV ad expenditure and now predictions say that CTV expenditures will grow by over 25% year over year in both 2021 and 2022.

That being said, CTV is only one part of the at-home entertainment landscape. And while CTV content is making up a larger and larger portion of total TV consumption, it has not yet penetrated every U.S. household. Which is to say, while CTV is important, there is still a lot of monetary value in advertising campaigns on digital advertising and linear.

Linear television has been the golden child of advertising for decades. With the ability to reach an enormous, captive audience, advertisers have poured creativity and resources into television. However, since the dawn of the internet, more and more money has gone into digital advertising since it has the potential to be a lot more targeted. Now with streaming on the rise, Connected TV promises to deliver the best of both worlds. CTV has made it easier for companies to show ads to the same linear television audience, using less money than on broadcast or cable, but with similar targeting capabilities to digital marketing. The emergence of CTV has taken advertising intelligence to a whole new level for most of the parties involved.

What is the benefit of ad tracking?

First and foremost, it is important to view ad creatives to differentiate between individual ads rather than just between advertisers. While looking at aggregate spending or airing data can help you understand the geographic strategy of a brand, valuable information can be lost without creative details. For example, knowing Nature Valley ads had 24,000 airings in September 2020 can help other snack brands compare against Nature Valley’s performance. However, knowing that more than half of those airings were of an ad that heavily features the outdoors and positions Nature’s Valley as a perfect snack for hikers, adds more dimension to their strategy. This advertising intelligence with creative information could help competitors like Clif Bars change their advertising to either differentiate themselves from Nature Valley bars altogether or try out the same kind strategy, focusing on the outdoors and why Cliff Bars are the best alternative. This is a perfect example of how ad tracking can provide a competitive advantage to a company over its rivals.

View Nature Valley’s ad:

Beyond just whittling data down to specific ads and studying their messaging, there is much to be gained from ad tracking. Even just having the transcript of the ad above, while helpful, is not the same as watching the ad. If you were to read the transcript of the Progressive Insurance ad below, you might think the premise of joking about becoming like your parents is clever. But transcript information alone cannot convey how memorable this ad is, and how well it is executed. Watching the ad in its entirety can tell competitor creative teams a lot about the overall marketing strategy of a brand. After seeing this ad, Geico, who is also known for clever and funny ad campaigns, will probably stay away from similar content and style so they aren’t confused with Progressive.

Watch Progressive’s ad:

Ad tracking can be critical for people designing new ads; whether you are trying to thwart a competitor, build upon or improve your own advertising marketing and campaign, or find inspiration from other ads in the market.

The types of ads and the information given on different platforms will vary, and this is part of the reason seeing ads is so important. Knowing that your competitor is advertising about a certain deal they are running is helpful. But that’s still not the full story. You need context about the larger campaign and it’s also beneficial to see and hear whether an ad subtly criticizes your marketing, advertising, or your brand as a whole.

What does AdImpact’s ad tracking tool bring to the table?

First of all, our landing page is easy to navigate. All ads within a customizable time period are easy to quickly browse. If you’re looking for a specific ad or specific brand or even a specific car model, we have a standard of five metadata filters across all verticals and upwards of twenty in both the political and automotive verticals. You can play the ads right from the landing page or click into them to glean even more ad tracking information.

Ad Tracking Landing Page

When you click into an ad, you are immediately given an easily-digestible snapshot of information about it. This view defaults to showing you the grand totals for the ad, but you can filter to specific dates and demographics to get more specific advertising intelligence and insights.

Ad Tracking Ad Page

As can be seen below, there are also several visuals available that show when the ad airs, ranging from a broad timeline down to showing the specific shows during which the ad airs.

Ad Tracking Spots Over Time

Ad Tracking Dayparts

Ad Tracking Programs

If that is not enough, we can also set up email alerts, so you know the moment a new ad drops. This is especially popular among our political clients who gain a lot by seeing a new ad within minutes of its first airing so they can respond to it in real time. Even if you are not a political campaign, ad alerts can be helpful for keeping track of competitors or making sure your new campaign is airing as expected without having to be constantly updating the data in a dashboard.

Our ad tracking platform goes a step beyond just the ad, collecting all transcription data for our entire ad library. We have partnered with Deep Root to use this data to look for Covid-19 related Public Service Announcements, but also have clients who have used it to look for specific mentions of people, products, trends, etc. This especially comes in handy when you are looking for larger trends beyond just one industry.

Basically, ad intelligence is easier with AdImpact. With our ad tracking platform, the ads you want to see are always available, and easy to find. Our library is growing daily as are the number of tools available to help you find the ads you need and give you the tools you need to empower you and your team to complete meaningful analysis. Certainly, people have been advertising without up to the minute data for years, so if you want to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, it’s certainly possible. However, with our ad tracking platform, you can be more informed than the competition and take your next campaign to the next level.

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