What is OTT advertising? And why?

In the current era of advertising, traditional TV is taking a backseat as streaming services, or OTT (over-the-top), pave the way in Hong Kong. This shift offers advertisers a unique chance to reach a tech-savvy audience through platforms like Netflix, Viu, and myTV SUPER. Despite challenges like ad-blocking and selecting the right platform, OTT advertising presents a new opportunity for targeted, creative engagement with viewers, marking a significant turn in how brands connect with consumers in a digital-first landscape.

What is OTT?

OTT platforms are like the cool spots in town where everyone wants to hang out. They stream movies, shows, and more directly to your device, bypassing (or "over the top" of) the usual cable and satellite routes. This digital revolution, fueled by fast internet speeds and a love for binge-watching, has made OTT the place to be for advertisers looking to catch the eye of their audience.

The Hotspots: OTT Platforms in Hong Kong

Viu: Your go-to for Asian drama and variety shows. It's a niche goldmine for reaching fans of Asian content.

Netflix: The global giant with a little something for everyone, making it perfect for brands aiming for wide reach.

myTV SUPER: TVB's brainchild, blending local flavour with international hits, caters to a broad audience palette.

OTT Advertising Formats

OTT ads come in various flavours, each with its charm. Here are some examples:

Source: AFTV News

  • Pre-roll and Mid-roll Ads: These are your attention-grabbers, playing before or during the show. They're like the previews before a movie, but better because they're tailored to viewer interests.

    ↑ Deliveroo sponsored content on Viutv

  • Sponsored Content: Less about the hard sell, and more about storytelling that integrates your brand into the viewing experience.

  • Display Ads: The subtle approach, appearing as banners or overlays, for those who prefer to keep it low-key.

Key Advantages of OTT Ads

  • Targeted Reach: Utilize OTT's precision targeting to deliver ads directly to your ideal audience segments, almost as if whispering to them amidst their favourite content.

  • Engagement: Craft OTT ads that blend seamlessly with viewer content, enhancing rather than interrupting the viewing experience, to capture and hold audience attention.

  • Trackable Results: Leverage the comprehensive analytics available through OTT platforms to monitor ad performance and optimize your campaigns in real-time for better outcomes.

  • Customization and Personalization: Tailor your messages to match viewer interests and behaviours, increasing relevance and connection.

  • Interactive Elements: Incorporate interactive features into your ads to boost engagement, collect valuable feedback, and provide an immersive experience.

And The Key Disadvantages...

  • Ad-Blocking: Counteract ad blockers by ensuring your ads offer value and relevance to the viewer, potentially reducing the urge to block them.

  • Platform Puzzle: Strategically select OTT platforms based on your target audience's preferences and habits to maximize ROI.

  • Cost Management: Balance high-quality OTT ad production with budget constraints by focusing on creative storytelling and strategic ad placement.

  • Alternative Strategies: Explore sponsored content or partnerships with content creators as cost-effective ways to bypass traditional ad challenges.

  • Performance Optimization: Use detailed analytics to identify high-performing ads and allocate budget more efficiently, reducing wasted spend.

What Advertisers Need to Watch

  • Know Your Audience: Identify platform preferences and content interests. For example, tech enthusiasts might flock to specific documentaries on Netflix, making it an ideal spot for tech-related ads.

  • Creative Content is King: Leverage current trends for engaging ads. If comedy sketches are a hit in Hong Kong, a humorous ad that plays before a popular comedy show could increase relevance and viewer retention.

  • Keep Tabs on Performance: Utilize analytics to adjust strategies. A high drop-off rate in the first few seconds means you need a more compelling start to your ads.

  • Embrace Interactive Formats: Consider adding interactive elements to your OTT ads, like polls or quizzes, especially on platforms that support this interactivity, to increase engagement and gather direct feedback.

  • Focus on Storytelling: Create ads that tell a story, not just sell a product. A mini-series format that follows a narrative relevant to your brand can captivate audiences and build anticipation.

  • Platform-Specific Tailoring: Customize your content for the platform. What works on myTV SUPER, with its local Hong Kong content, might differ from what resonates on international platforms like Netflix.

  • Timing is Everything: Analyze viewing times and schedule your ads accordingly. Placing OTT ads during peak viewing hours for your target demographic can significantly increase visibility.

    By honing in on these strategies—understanding your audience deeply, crafting standout creative content, analyzing performance for insights, and adapting your approach to the nuances of each platform—you can maximize the impact of your OTT advertising efforts in Hong Kong.

Final Thoughts

OTT advertising offers a vibrant and engaging way for brands in Hong Kong to connect with their audiences. Despite the challenges, the benefits of targeted advertising, high engagement, and measurable results position OTT as a compelling option for advertisers. By staying informed, creative, and adaptable, brands can leverage OTT to achieve substantial impact and growth.

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