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Why Impression-Based TV Buying Will Unlock Huge Opportunities for Luxury Brands

The transition to impression-based buying in the TV space will rank among the most defining media trends of 2022. While the shift will unlock new opportunities for advertisers in all categories, luxury brands in particular stand to benefit significantly from the expansion of impression-based buying.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the implications of the shift from GRPs (Gross Ratings Points) to impressions, and why luxury advertisers have plenty of reasons to be excited.

The Shift to Impression-Based TV Buying

Impression-based buying in TV isn’t new, but our industry is undoubtedly seeing this opportunity reach its tipping point in 2022. With Nielsen now pivoting to an “impressions-first” system capable of encompassing the growing number of broadband-only households, the ability to capture and target viewers, regardless of network or platform, will expand significantly in the coming months and years.

Addressable and advanced TV specialists are no strangers to impression-based buying, which enables brands and agencies to go much deeper in terms of finding their desired audience segments across networks, platforms and devices. This has been especially relevant for brands with niche audiences, which can benefit greatly by extending their reach to the viewers of smaller networks that aren’t reached through GRPs. The luxury audience is one such vertical where impression-based addressable buys can unlock more opportunity.

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The Impression-Based Advantage

Impression-based buying enables us to use all the data we have to create smart media plans based off of set-top box data. The end goal is all about finding the right placements for a given audience, even if that means tapping into smaller networks that are more niche in nature.

Luxury audiences have always been finite. In other words, there are only so many households that have the disposable income for certain lavish vacations or high-end automobiles or jewelry. By leveraging addressable TV buying on an impression basis, luxury advertisers can ensure they’re delivering their ads only to those households, thereby eliminating a tremendous amount of waste and allowing for more effective CPMs in what could otherwise be a scattershot approach.

The move to impression-based buying via addressable TV becomes even more important for luxury advertisers as we contemplate the continued fragmentation of audiences across platforms and devices. For years, we’ve been hearing about cord-cutters and cord-nevers — audiences that are increasingly being lost to advertisers that adhere to traditional GRP-driven buying strategies.

It’s not that these individuals are changing what they watch — they’re just changing how they watch it. They haven’t stopped watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta. They’re just choosing to watch it through their Roku device or a partner app rather than traditional linear network programming. An impression-based, data-driven buying model allows us to follow that audience, not just in a linear TV sense of where and when they’re watching, but at the actual device level of when and where and how they’re watching. In other words, impression-based buying just makes good sense now that the world has shifted en masse to streaming media.

Thinking Regional with Impressions

It’s also worth noting that impression-based models can unlock regional opportunities as well, particularly as advertisers look to tap into audiences with offers tailored by geography. This can be particularly relevant for luxury brands looking for high-income individuals with a demonstrated interest in their categories, particularly given that offering availability might significantly vary market by market. For example, audiences in the New York market are 121% more likely to have a household income over $250,000 when compared to U.S. audiences as a whole.

And let’s be clear: The shift to streaming media doesn’t mean people are just watching TV on their smartphones while commuting on a train now. Sure, some are. But in fact, most of the streaming viewers that impression-based buying is uniquely suited to reach are still watching content on the 70-inch screens in their living rooms. The value of these viewers is in no way diminished, particularly when it comes to the elusive luxury audience. However, more and more of them are being lost to advertisers relying on traditional GRP-based models, making the pivot to impressions more urgent than ever.


Jim McGraw is Director of Addressable Advertising at New York Interconnect. He is an accomplished media sales executive with over a decade of experience in the TV advertising industry. McGraw is responsible for identifying strategic partnerships and generating new business opportunities in the addressable TV space. Prior to his current position, he was in the business development group where he led the long-term strategy and day-to-day activities of the sales teams across high-profile accounts. McGraw also served as the company’s Product Integration and Operations Manager, and his favorite part of the business is working with his clients.

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