In Big Pharma, Connected TV Works


In the wake of the pandemic, more and more consumers are turning to streaming instead of traditional TV.  Pharma ads are following them, too.

Pharma advertisers are increasingly spending more budget on connected TV. In 2021, they’ll have spent around $14.4 billion on the medium, which is up almost 60% from 2020. A significant increase.


Is it worth it to make bigger investments? DeepIntent, a healthcare technology firm, says 100% yes.

The company used a mix of industry statistics and data from campaigns run on its own artificial intelligence platform to figure out how well and how much money pharma clients spent on CTV. The findings confirmed what the company already assumed; advertising on cable TV is 53% less expensive than linear TV, and CTV is better than linear TV, display ads, and online videos at reaching pharma’s brand-specific targeted audiences.


DeepIntent used ACR (automated content recognition) data, which is information that can be found in smart TVs, to figure out how many people saw recent pharma campaigns and how good those people were as viewers.


It found that CTV showed more ads to people who were “clinically relevant” to the product. Also, the percentage of people who said they were “clinically relevant” to the brand was 50% higher on CTV than on linear TV. Compared to display ads and online video ads, CTV also hit the target audience better. CTV’s audience quality was 12 percent and 10 percent better than each of those media, respectively.


Because of the cost per verified patient (the cost to reach a clinically relevant person, as defined by claims codes), the company looked at the ROI. It found that depending on the campaign, CTV’s ROI was between 10% and 50% more than linear TV’s ROI.


DeepIntent works with nine of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in America. Some of their clients, based on a review of their website, include Merck, Bayer, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson.  After incredible demand from clients, the company started selling ads on connected TV in 2020. However, linear TV still accounts for the majority of TV ad spending for pharma brands.


Based on eMarketer, by 2025, connected TV ad spending in the US will more than double to $34.49 billion. 


About Author

Barb Rogers

Barb has worked within the digital advertising and marketing space for over 20 years. Over the years, she found it difficult to find information on the simplest of subjects tied to the digital marketing space, so she decided to embark on a journey to create a space that others may appreciate.

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