We sat down with Jacob Garber, DSPolitical’s Senior Director of Media Planning and all around CTV expert to talk shop about everyone’s favorite advertising medium: Connected TV.  

About Jacob: Prior to joining DSPolitical, Jacob was the Vice President of Advertising at FOGLAMP, a progressive digital agency, where he managed the advertising department and ran paid media programs for candidates up and down the ballot. During the 2020 cycle, he built and managed the paid media planning team on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. He held a similar role at Priorities USA as their Digital Media Director, where he guided digital strategy for the super PAC’s presidential and Senate work. 


Q: What role does Connected TV play in a political campaign specifically?

A: Creatively, it’s a lot like broadcast and linear TV advertising. It captures people’s attention for an uninterrupted 30 seconds on the largest screen in the house, and it’s not seen by the viewer as intrusive or interruptive. But the “connected” piece means that you can target the inventory in unprecedented ways, really focusing on the voters you most need to reach. Because of this, it’s one of the highest quality channels to include in a media program. It’s also a far more accessible advertising medium than traditional TV for down-ballot campaigns, which makes it an indispensable part of the digital strategy for many campaigns.

Q: Can you talk more about clients using CTV as a supplement to their TV campaigns?

A: It always starts with where best to find your target voters, and then how you can reach them most efficiently and effectively. The vast majority of TV households now have a connected TV, and our media strategies need to adapt accordingly.  In many media programs, a combination of traditional and connected TV is going to be the only way to maximize your reach among, say, the group of persuasion voters you need to reach to win.

 And unlike with traditional TV, you can buy your CTV the ZIP code level and even at the household level – really focusing on the most efficient places to reach the most essential target voters. You also open up a whole different realm of technology available to your campaign in terms of audience targeting, which can allow campaigns to reach the exact voters they need, in the most efficient possible way. 

Q: How important is audience targeting with CTV?

A: Very! But it’s equally important to understand how CTV targeting differs from the broader digital space. 

And that’s the great thing about DSPolitical– we’re a digital firm, but we are cross-platform media experts. This means we’re always looking to bring the same powerful technologies that power our other forms of digital advertising into the Connected TV space for household-level targeting. Not only are we making our CTV offerings more powerful, but we’re voter-focused and optimized specifically for political campaigns. 

Q: What is the difference between premium CTV inventory and other inventory?

A: Pretty simply, it’ll be a video played on a connected television, marked by a few key attributes: fully viewable, full screen, close to 100% completion rate (unless you’re running skippable ads). But it’s a great question because the space of CTV inventory is so vast, and it can be tough to know which inventory is right for your program. Our buying and planning teams do a lot of work to curate the best deals so that when you buy CTV through DSPolitical, you can be confident you’re on the right screens and the best, scalable inventory.

So, at the end of the day, it’s much more important to look past the buzzwords and look at the tech that powers your CTV buying.

Q: How will CTV be changing?

A: Like I mentioned before, there is plenty of opportunity for development in CTV advertising. DSPolitical in particular is always looking for ways to make our services and products more innovative and powerful. Right now for example, we believe that resolving identities across CTV could be more accurate,  and we’re working on ways to improve that (such as expanding a device graph). We’re also making strides in better measurement of cross platform reach and are excited to continue improving that.  


Interested in more content about Connected TV? We’ve got two eBooks on the subject– at beginner and intermediate levels of CTV knowledge. Check out Connected TV 101: DSPolitical’s Guide to Digitally Advertising on CTV and Connected TV 201: Reaching Your Voters on the Biggest Screen in the House.