How SAS Leveraged Google’s AI Capabilities to Customise CTV Ads

How SAS Leveraged Google’s AI Capabilities to Customise CTV Ads

CASE STUDY: Marketers using traditional geo-targeting approaches find CTV ads failing to reach promising areas. These outdated algorithms use a binary approach, limiting reach and reducing ROAS. Achieving granular targeting is possible but time-consuming and cumbersome, which SAS wanted to avoid.

Consumers’ choices have been changing rapidly post-lockdown. They already prefer streaming platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix and more for entertainment. This has left an open space for the global CTV (connected TV) ad revenue market, which is constantly growing. A survey from Statista revealed that global CTV advertising is expected to surpass $42 billion by 2028. 

SAS Institute used it as an opportunity to promote its SAS Viya analytics platform’s enterprise solutions. The company leveraged Google’s AI-powered bidding algorithms to reach its B2B audiences at scale, which helped the company to prioritise its CTV ads in the most promising areas. 

The Challenge

Marketers still employ traditional geo-targeting approaches, and CTV ads still fail to reach the most promising areas. These old-school algorithms use a binary approach, including or excluding the entire targeted region, declining reach in case of audience variations. 

Achieving this granular control, i.e., targeting specific areas within a region, is possible but time-consuming and cumbersome to manage. Consequently, it reduces the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). SAS didn’t want to follow this same approach. 

Instead, the company looked forward to prioritising its “Get More Done” campaign to reach its 4.7M most promising B2B audiences and watch the video completely. Traditionally, this process requires establishing close partnerships with publishers in each market, a step SAS was eager to overcome.

The Solution 

The SAS team recognised the potential of Google’s Display & Video 360 programmatic advertising platform to streamline the complex process of purchasing CTV ad inventory across multiple markets, particularly on an international scale. 

In a bold step, SAS opted to buy auction-based CTV inventory, bypassing the deal-making process. This decision elevated the campaign launch and enhanced the team’s flexibility in optimising their bidding strategy with real-time data.

Instead of relying on Display & Video 360’s pre-configured bidding strategies, SAS tailored its bidding algorithm to dynamically adjust bids, serving more impressions in priority markets while reducing cost per completed view.

Also Read: How Did Intel’s denstu-led Personalised Audio AI Campaign Boost Brand Metrics?

The Process 

SAS created a CTV custom bidding script, prioritising valuable market areas (DMAs) to increase reach and awareness where relevant. It further utilised Google’s Display & Video 360’s experiments tool to measure and compare the impact of its custom bidding strategy via A/B testing. The campaign was executed for 10 weeks. 

The Result 

Mibbie Majors, Global Head of Programmatic, SAS, said, “Display & Video 360 empowered us to bring in our customer insights and tailor our CTV investment, reaching the viewers we care about most.”

The 10-week campaign proved successful, enabling SAS campaign managers to deliver 39% more impressions in priority markets. It did so with greater efficiency, reducing cost per completed view by 24%. Additionally, there was a 5% increase in video completion, reaching 4.7M priority market decision-makers.