Staying on the cutting edge: Cathy Grubb speaks to the impact of television

Photo of living room with TV with text overlay “the impact of tv; an interview with Cathy Grubb Director of Sales”

RTBiQ’s very own Director of Sales, Cathy Grubb brings a wealth of advertising experience to help our clients succeed. We talked to Cathy about the power of television and how the medium has evolved over the years, including how advertisers are moving forward in the current age of digital.


Tell us a little about your background in TV, prior to RTBiQ.

I started in television right out of college, the same year Fox Television opened their doors. It was an exciting time for TV Ad Sales: Television had traditionally been split three ways (ABC, CBS, NBC) for share of audience as well as share of ad dollars spent. Fox was a new player, “disrupting” that time-honored system on both counts. Fox’s The Simpsons and Married… with Children and earlier local news were grabbing attention both with viewers and with advertisers looking to be part of something “edgy” and I couldn’t wait to be part of that groundswell!

Less than 20 years later, digital began a similar but grander disruption - and I couldn’t wait to be part of that, too. Having grown up in Silicon Valley, the child of a dad who was always starting a cutting-edge company, I am addicted to the thrill of working in that kind of environment.

What is special about TV advertising?

TV was unique for decades in that it was the only medium that could bring all the elements to a viewer, and to an advertiser: Sight. Sound. Motion. Emotion. Nothing else - Newspaper, Radio, DirectMail, Billboards - could deliver on all those elements. Added to that uniqueness was the fact that television was usually central to the home, a gathering place for housemates or family members to gather ‘round and experience news/entertainment together, especially in prime time (8 p.m.-11 p.m.).

Is advertising on TV still relevant?

Viewing habits have shifted in so many ways in the last 10 years - viewers still gather around the big screen for some “live” events (sports, awards ceremonies), but most other news and entertainment is viewed on mobile devices, one viewer per screen. Content is available usually on multiple platforms (Netflix, Hulu, etc) and “on demand,” when the viewer wants to watch, not only when the program is being broadcast to the masses. Binge-watching is now not just an option, but often the preferred way to watch an entire season of a program, without interruption.

Advertisers are moving much or all of their traditional TV budgets to a more programmatic way of reaching their target audiences, placing their video ads in a bucket called, “Video” and reaching their audiences via whatever mobile device they are watching video content on (mobile phones, tablets, smart tvs). Connected TV is a great way to bring the medium and its power into the current era. We can reach the same audience as with traditional TV, but now in a more targeted, intimate way.

What kinds of successes have you seen?

Having worked at local TV stations in major cities, I was part of many campaigns that truly reached the majority of a DMA, by strategically placing the clients’ ads across time periods and programming that would be seen by the targeted audience. By continuously studying the market, the competition, the patterns in the market, I was able to be more of an objective partner to most clients, tracking trends that would be interesting and helpful to them when navigating TV for their client.

When and how can TV be used to its utmost / best practices for TV ads?

Video is being viewed now more than ever - across all devices and across all demos. In general, video is great to include in the creative mix to keep the messaging fresh and relevant. To help reach the target audience wherever they are, however they are consuming their news and entertainment, adding video, TV, and CTV is a great complement to reach that audience. More specifically, video for educational/instructional purposes is being reported at over 95% of Americans. If a brand is looking to explain something to their target, video should be part of the creative mix for people who prefer to view a video (rather than read up on) a subject.

Thank you for your insights, Cathy! If you’re looking to get started with a campaign, or add CTV to the mix, our expert team (including Cathy), is here to help.  

Book CTV strategy meeting