Why DTC Brands Are Making the Leap From Digital to TV Advertising

DTC brands are reinventing ads by merging digital tactics with TV's broad appeal.

The Moast Team

January 29, 2024

Direct-to-Consumer brands are shaking things up in a big way, turning their gaze from the overcrowded digital playgrounds of Facebook, Google, and TikTok to the wide-open skies of traditional TV advertising. Why? It's about breaking through the digital noise, where ads get lost in a sea of content and costs are sky-high. The changes in digital advertising, such as the iOS 14 update and Google's depreciation of third-party cookies, have made brands rethink their reliance on these platforms. By tapping into TV's broad audience, they're not just reaching more eyes; they're building brand stories that resonate and stick. It's a clever mix of old-school charm and new-age savvy, aiming for a marketing home run.

Trailblazers like Warby Parker, Casper, and Peloton are strutting into the TV advertising scene with flair. They've been tired of the digital ad rat race and hungry for new opportunities.These trendsetters are looking for a new stage to showcase their brands, where their stories can truly captivate and linger in the minds of viewers. It's not just about reaching more people; it's about making a lasting impression in a way that the fast-paced digital world doesn't always allow.

The shift towards TV advertising among DTC brands is backed by some interesting data and trends. According to Rockerbox, a multi-touch attribution provider, there's been a 15% increase in linear TV spend over the past year across all its clients. Particularly notable is the 74% increase in TV ad spend among its clients who allocate less than $5 million in advertising on linear TV. This suggests that even smaller DTC brands are starting to see the value in TV advertising.

Why This Matters

DTC brands moving to TV is like discovering a new continent in the advertising world. It’s reshaping how brands communicate with audiences, breaking the mold of the digital echo chamber. This move is more than just a shift in platforms; it's a strategic evolution in storytelling and audience engagement. It signals a new era where the fusion of digital precision and traditional impact could redefine the advertising playbook. For consumers, it means fresher, more diverse content in their media diet. For the industry, it's a wake-up call to the endless possibilities of cross-platform creativity.

Peloton TV ad screen grab

Jumping into TV advertising isn't all glitz and glamour; it's like playing in the big leagues where the stakes (and costs) are higher. Crafting a TV ad can seriously stretch your budget, way more than a snappy Instagram campaign. Then there's the measurement maze – unlike the neat, number-crunching world of digital ads, TV's impact is harder to pin down. You're looking at broader viewership stats rather than direct engagement metrics, making it a bit of a guessing game to figure out your ad's true MVP status.

That being said, DTC brands are bringing their expectations from digital advertising – like measurement, attribution, targeting, and real-time analytics – to their TV campaigns. This has led to the rise of "converged TV," which combines linear and streaming TV platforms. This approach allows for impression-based advertising, giving brands a more consistent view of campaign performance across different platforms.

With the increasing viability of audience-based targeting in TV advertising, brands can serve more personalized ads, enhancing campaign effectiveness. This shift is not only observed among DTC brands but is also being adopted by traditional advertisers who have been using linear TV for decades.

Key Takeaways for DTC Brands

Embrace the TV Renaissance: It's like rediscovering a classic vinyl in the age of streaming – TV's got this old-school cool that's new again for DTC brands. It's your secret weapon to snag those folks who've been dodging your digital ads. Think of TV as casting a wider net in a sea where you haven't fished before.

Stand Out from the Crowd: If digital ads are fireflies in a forest, TV ads are like a lighthouse. They cut through the chaos, giving your brand the spotlight it deserves. It's your chance to be the star of the show, not just background noise.

Tell Your Story, Louder: TV is the stage for your brand's epic saga. It's where you can weave your story with more flair and drama than a 30-second social media clip ever could. This is where emotional connections are made, turning viewers into fans.

Mix it Up: Think of it as the ultimate marketing cocktail – the precision of digital with the reach of TV. It's not about choosing one over the other; it's about creating a blend that packs the best punch.

Keep Evolving: The ad world is like a kaleidoscope, always shifting, always changing. Staying ahead means riding the wave of trends, not just watching from the shore. It's about being bold, trying new things, and always being ready to pivot.

It's also about staying super focused on your customer journey and making sure you target them at key points.

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