How We Built It: 

Roku’s Biggest-Ever Ad Campaign for OneView 

B2B advertising isn’t easy. Ironically, many of us who work in marketing are among the hardest audiences to market to. Yet, we’ve just launched the biggest-ever ad campaign promoting OneView by Roku, the ad buying platform built for TV streaming.  

Why did we do it, and how did we decide on our strategy? Here, we reveal the inspiration behind our campaign approach: Read the story in Ad Age.

OneView Momentum

OneView has had a strong year. Last quarter, TV streaming impressions delivered through OneView more than doubled, increasing by 141% YoY. Nearly all agency holding companies now use OneView, and its appeal extends from established, blue chip brands such as Lexus, to direct-to-consumer brands like Lovevery, who use it to produce performance outcomes. 

Marketers have many solutions to choose from, though, and the options can seem indistinguishable. OneView is different because it was built first for TV, so we focused  on ways to showcase this and other ways that it uniquely helps marketers.  

A Case for Emotion in B2B Advertising  

We knew that we had to emphasize what makes OneView unique, but how? A cursory glance at the B2B ads suggests that most B2B advertising appeals to the rational side.   B2B marketers have been told to market benefits as opposed to features, as if these are  the only choices we have. 

LinkedIn’s B2B Institute proposes a third way. Their data suggests a couple of things:
  • First, the number of buyers who are not actively looking to buy but might buy    someday far outweigh the number of buyers who are actively in market. 
  • Second, out-of-market buyers respond more to emotion, e.g. creative that entertains   or makes them laugh, versus benefits or features. In-market buyers, on the other hand, are more likely to respond to benefits.

Geico provides an example many of us can relate to. “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” speaks to a benefit and is more likely to attract the attention of someone who is ready to buy. The Geico gecko speaks to everyone else, creating a memorable mental shortcut that Geico hopes people will activate when they’re ready to buy car insurance.  If you believe, as we do, that B2B decision makers are consumers at heart, LinkedIn’s argument makes a lot of sense.  

The Challenge: Bridging Roku B2C and B2B Campaigns  

As we considered how to communicate OneView’s uniqueness in a way that also delivered emotional resonance, we had to acknowledge that people who influence and make TV advertising investments also were likely to see our consumer campaign, which features the tagline, Ok, Roku does that. For this reason, we decided to work with R/GA, the creative team that developed Roku’s consumer campaign. We challenge them to extend the spirit of “Ok, Roku does that” into the B2B world of ad buying platforms.  

The Solution: A More Human Way of Talking About Technology  

We wanted the campaign to speak to marketers as people, which meant avoiding jargon and finding more colloquial ways of describing OneView. To do that, R/GA first did their research. They talked to their team of media buyers, as well as Roku employees who have helped build OneView, about how it feels to use platforms like OneView.  

OneView’s users vary, so the campaign needed to communicate uniquely to each market segment while preserving its overarching creative theme. For example, TV buyers are trying to figure out what to do about the decline of traditional linear TV viewing and the reach they’re losing as a result. Performance marketers have social media-size holes forming in their campaigns and need an alternative to social to drive conversions.  

Next, we explained what makes OneView different and useful to these different user types. Roku helps TV buyers make up for traditional linear TV’s decline because it reaches households with an estimated 150+ million people. It is built around TV streaming advertising, and it also helps marketers reach TV streamers on their phones, tablets, and laptops. Marketers can use OneView to build audiences based on Roku’s 1st party data on people who watch TV streaming, and it helps performance marketers who are finding it harder to do one-to-one, closed loop marketing on mobile due to iOS.  

R/GA then anchored their creative exploration to the simplicity and reliability messaging that comes through in the Roku consumer campaign. The goal: show people that OneView has done for TV ads precisely what Roku has done for TV streaming.  

Here's a sneak-peek at how it turned out:

What’s Next  

Just as Roku’s clients do every day, we’re taking a test, learn, and scale approach to the campaign. We’re eager to find out how more emotional messages perform compared to ones that are more rational, which channels perform best, and the audiences that engage the most. If you see one our ads on LinkedIn, leave us a comment. We’d love to hear what you think.