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Maximize your reach this media buying season with Connected TV

Roku's head of Canadian advertising shares marketing tips for c-store brands and gas stations.
Roku on tv screen

In March 2020, lockdowns forced consumers to stay home and confined to their neighbourhoods, meaning local convenience stores became the go-to spot for necessities, snacks, and groceries. In May 2023, however, with stay-home orders a thing of the past, consumers’ purchasing power squeezed, and the rise of online shopping, convenience store brand marketers need to think creatively to draw in those local customers. As we enter a precarious post-pandemic world, c-store brand marketers around the country are looking to maintain the momentum of sales and foot traffic gained over the last three years.

In the spirit of marketing convenience store brands to price-conscious consumers and sustaining local customer foot traffic, TV streaming ads are a great marketing solution. With 76% of Canadians fully streaming, connected TV ads offer c-store retailers and brand marketers an opportunity to extend their reach beyond social and linear TV advertising. With easy-to-use, self-serve platforms, interactive and engaging ad formats, highly personalized targeting options, informative metrics, and campaign reporting, TV streaming offers an advertising ROI like no other channel.

Interactivity and more action-oriented placements

Linear TV is called “linear” for a reason – it’s straight forward and lacks dynamism. By comparison, TV streaming ads offer c-store marketers and advertisers a chance to create more dynamic, targeted, and engaging ads for their target consumers. For example, TV streaming ads can include features that allow users to receive details from an ad directly to a registered email using only their remote and a simple “OK” command.

Alternatively, c-store marketers and advertisers can use QR codes (which became very common during the pandemic) with their TV streaming creative, so a consumer can scan the code to learn more, get a coupon, or download an app.

These video formats run within Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD) content, which often appeals to price-conscious consumers as they receive programming for free in return for light advertising – a perfect combination. Finally, features like Home Screen Action Ads, available on platforms like Roku, provide c-store marketers the ability to reach a more targeted audience before they access their channel of choice. These ad formats take up approximately one-third of a user’s screen and reach all active Roku households. While traditional advertising tells a story, with interactive TV streaming ads, your audiences can be a part of the story. 

TV streaming also boasts a more engaging ad load compared to traditional 30-second linear TV spots. Streaming platforms can have up to half the typical ad load of traditional linear TV and high-impact, premium ad placements. Market research shows the lighter ad load is much more engaging for audiences.

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Personalization and targeting

With 52% of Canadians watching ad-supported TV, there’s a clear opportunity for c-store brand marketers to personalize ads and use streaming platforms’ advanced targeting capabilities to reach local consumers and drive traffic to physical stores. 

Targeting includes audience segments, like the principal grocery shopper or head of household, age, and income. But for c-store brand marketers, one of the most important targeting options will be location. 

[Read more: "Connecting with customers on the move"]

With first-party data insights offered by many streaming services’ ad platforms, brand marketers can target consumers within a specific region or area. Not only that, but the platform will give you an estimate of how many potential consumers you’re reaching based on your location targets. 

Other key targeting features for c-store brand marketers are audience segments and income. Paired with location targeting, marketers can customize targeting to mirror the demographics of a specific neighbourhood. For example, if you operate in, or are marketing for, an area with a high student population, you could select an appropriate income level for this demographic, paired with age and location to round-out a highly personalize ad segment to draw in local consumers to stores. 

Advance metrics and reporting

TV streaming ads also offer metrics and reporting for c-store brand marketers to evaluate their audiences and see which placements were most effective. TV streaming can show lifetime statistics, impressions, top campaigns which delivered the most impressions and the ability to layer in measurement solutions. This is especially helpful if advertising with TV streaming for the first time to analyze campaign performance and determine how ads can be improved in the future. Reporting features can also give insight into who is engaging with ads and whether targeting needs to be optimized or refined as the campaign progresses. 

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In a world where local foot traffic is more important than ever for c-stores brands, and with Canadians turning to TV streaming at unprecedented levels, c-store brand marketers can market to their local consumers in new and highly creative ways via streaming ads.

With more interactive placements, consumers can look up store offerings online or search their nearest store in seconds, with a lighter ad load meaning audiences are more likely to engage with an ad. Personalization and targeting capabilities can enable c-store brand marketers to hone-in on their local customers and mirror the demographics of their neighbourhood to drive more traffic to stores. And to cap it all off, target metrics and reporting will inform the direction and effectiveness of campaigns in ways far more comprehensive than linear TV and other channels.


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Christina Summers is the head of advertising in Canada for Roku.

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