TelevisaUnivision will let brands repurpose vertical video ads for TVs

The news: TelevisaUnivision is introducing an advertising product that integrates social media videos directly into television content.

  • This feature allows vertical videos from platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts to be displayed alongside TV shows and live events.
  • Dan Riess, executive vice president and chief growth officer at TelevisaUnivision, told Ad Age the initiative uses existing brand content in new formats, delivering nonintrusive ads that include interactive QR codes.

Why it matters: Repurposing social video ads for TVs allows advertisers to reach audiences across platforms without additional production costs, but TelevisaUnivision will have to prove that vertical video can live alongside “traditional” video.

  • The repurposed ads will appear during live content, taking up one half of the screen while the broadcast plays next to it. The half-and-half approach is certainly less intrusive than a vertical video ripped straight from TikTok with vertical letterboxing, but it could still make for an uncomfortable viewing experience.
  • In the Ad Age interview, Riess argued that the line between vertical and traditional video is blurred, allowing advertisers to seamlessly bring ads from one channel to another.
  • Data from TikTok shows that Hispanic audiences are particularly engaged with vertical video and ads, especially if the ad is in Spanish, which TelevisaUnivision says will make its new ad format particularly effective.

Our take: TelevisaUnivision’s new ad product is an interesting development that blends social media's immediacy and personal touch with television's broad reach.

  • If TelevisaUnivision can prove that consumers will be as engaged with vertical video on TVs as on short-form video platforms, other streamers and networks are likely to offer similar products.

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