New study reveals how personalised advertising and creativity can answer consumers’ lack of attention

  • 55% of Europeans have purchased a Smart TV in the last two years
  • Connected viewing is now an expectation rather than an alternative
  • People expect more personalisation in advertising

Paris/ Luxembourg/Hamburg, 28th April 2022: New research conducted by RTL AdConnect, the international advertising arm of RTL Group, and smartclip, the European-grown adtech and digital media sales company of RTL Deutschland, shows that the TV is still at the heart of the home in the living room, but today’s viewers expect a lot more from their television than just passive entertainment.

The new comprehensive study leans on a double approach to build knowledge about users. A qualitative approach – interviewing 18 families across the UK, Germany and France; And a quantitative survey covering 8500 individuals across 10 countries (the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland).The report uncovers habits, expectations and viewing tastes from groups across Europe to show how TV viewing has changed. Factors like the pandemic appear to have influenced purchase habits as over half of Europeans have purchased a smart TV in the last two years and nearly one third (31%) say they watch more video content since the health crisis began.

While it is easy to think that alternative platforms for viewing are taking over, TV is still the focal point of the living room. In the UK 63% of viewers watch more content on TV than any other device. Connected TVs are a must for viewers. 79% of Europeans now have directly connected TVs, while 55% connect using a stick or dongle and 68% use a set top box. 38% of viewers now expect smart features to be a part of their viewing experience.

Smart TV opportunities

A challenge for advertisers is that no matter what the viewing platform is, viewers find ads annoying if they are repetitive or not relevant. Around half of European viewers are irritated by ads on linear, social media, broadcast VOD and ad supported VOD which reaches up to nearly 60% of viewers of YouTube.

It’s not a surprise that this sense of annoyance comes from the disruption of the viewing experience, but this only stands as a challenge to creative advertisers to up their game and design advertising that supports connected viewers who would prefer to see something of value to them, whether this is through smart targeting or more interesting content. Creative and relevant ads are perceived positively rather than as a disruption.

Through increasingly clever online advertising, consumers now expect personalised marketing. This is also true for the ads they see on TV. 71% want personalisation, 67% expect relevant product recommendations and 66% would like messages to be tailored to their needs. This is all possible via a combination of real-time, behavioural, socio-demographic and contextual data and with the increase in connected TV purchase and connection to smart features – is a real opportunity for brands to deliver relevant content and ads.

Jean-Baptiste Moggio, Head of Marketing at RTL AdConnect, says, “The top viewing moments in the living room are for relaxation, family togetherness and companionship – to have something on in the background as people get on with their lives. Knowing these moods and mindsets means that advertisers can use our research to better target and design content that will cause less friction for viewers throughout the day.

During family time, longer format conversation starters are key, for relaxation a smoothly integrated item is better and when people are distracted and using their TV as a companion, short, eye-catching work is likely to be more successful.” Jean-Baptiste concluded.

Shira Leffel, Executive Director Europe Marketing & Product Education at smartclip, says, “We found that a large proportion of surveyed users found TV ads to be repetitive and unrelated to personal interests. Knowing this, advertisers can leverage advanced targeting features such as frequency capping and ad sequencing, which gives advertisers complete control over the number of times a viewer sees an ad and the order in which different ad creatives are delivered — down to a device level. The combination of data and tech is key here in giving advertisers the ability to ensure not only that the right ad gets in front of the right viewer at the right time — but also the right amount of times.”

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About RTL AdConnect

RTL AdConnect is the international Total Video sales house of RTL Group and beyond. It provides international advertisers with a simplified access to a global premium and brand-safe total video inventory ensuring that the right media decisions are made for pan-European campaigns. Thanks to its media partners from RTL Group and beyond, RTL AdConnect reaches around 165 million potential consumers in Europe every day. RTL AdConnect offers exclusive solutions around high quality content across an extensive portfolio of media partners consisting of more than 150 TV channels, 300 digital platforms and 40 radio stations in 12 countries. With 360-degree solutions, RTL AdConnect supports brands on every step of the way, offering full support from start to finish, ensuring high reach, deep market insights and cross-screen solutions.

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About smartclip At smartclip, we are shaping the future of video advertising—delivering advanced online video and TV advertising solutions. Our proprietary technology and services empower brands with true cross-screen storytelling on all devices, and enable broadcasters and publishers to monetise their content in the most efficient and effective way possible. We are committed to delivering the most innovative video ad experiences—spanning in-stream, out-stream, connected TV, addressable TV, and gaming. As a subsidiary of RTL Deutschland, smartclip is part of RTL Group—Europe’s leading free-to-air broadcaster group. Headquartered in Hamburg, smartclip has offices in Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf, Gütersloh, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Milan and Rome. For more information, please visit, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Press contacts

Kathrin Müller
Executive Director Europe PR and Communications
+49 173 345 29 60