May 24 2023
Clare McKinley

Who the Digital Advertising Channels Would Be at a Holiday Cookout


Can you feel it? The sun beaming down, inviting you outside? Can you smell that sweet, sweet aroma of hamburgers on the grill? We’re talking paper plates, plastic cups, slices of watermelon, a cooler full of drinks, potato salad that’s been sitting out in the sun for far too long, and maybe even a game of corn hole. Yes, we’ve officially entered one of the best times of the year: It’s cookout season!

The social ecosystem of a cookout is both sophisticated and delicate, not unlike the media mix of a winning marketing campaign. And when summer comes around, we’re sure that like us, you’ve no doubt started to wonder: What kind of person would each digital advertising channel be at a cookout? What characteristics would they have, and how would they contribute to the social fabric of these important events? Well, don’t worry, we’ve had some extensive debates and thought it all through (and, of course, done some very thorough cookout-related research), and we’re here to share our findings:

Programmatic Advertising: The Tech Wiz

They might have gone to an Ivy League school, but they really didn’t need to. They’ve been a wiz their whole life, able to figure out any kind of technology in minutes. Programmatic isn't just the smartest person in the room—they’re also a trend-setter who gets along with literally everybody, helping them to achieve their goals faster and more effectively like it’s their job.

Connected TV Advertising: The Popular One            

Connected TV hasn't always been popular, but they’ve always been cool. That said, they’ve really come into their own over these past few years, and their rising popularity doesn't show any signs of stopping. CTV (as friends call them) is a fantastic storyteller, keeping even the most skeptical cookout guest entertained and engaged. Sure, they can be a bit messy (read: fragmented) and hard to figure out (read: measure), but that just adds to their mystique. The important thing is, you’re definitely going to want to spend some time with them.

Video Advertising: The One Who’s Everywhere

You know that one friend who pops up at every social event, and you have no idea how they find the time or energy? That's Connected TV's older sibling, Video. Their versatility allows them to get along with pretty much anyone. This is just one of many cookouts they’ll attend this week, making the rounds and engaging folks like the charismatic extrovert they are at each one. They've been in these circles for a while now and have proven their reliability time and time again. Plus, they’re always evolving—these days, they’re into shorter discussions, but Video’s a skilled conversationalist with mid- and long-form chats as well.

Audio Advertising: The One with Timeless Appeal

Audio’s been around for a long time—in fact, they might be over 100, but they certainly don’t look it! They’ve always had that special ability to capture your attention completely, no matter what else is going on in your life. In the past couple of decades, they’ve reinvented themselves as a digital trendsetter, leveraging technology to become even more irresistible to the folks they want to connect with. As a result, everyone seems to be spending more and more time with Audio.

Display Advertising: The One Who Never Goes Out of Style

Ah yes, it’s just not a party without good old Display. One of the founders of this particular friend group, they’re a tried-and-tested comrade, invited to every social gathering and able to get along with anyone. These days, they’re often found hanging out with Video, but Display is also great friends with Social and Mobile.

Mobile Advertising: Everybody’s Best Friend

How does Mobile do it? They're intimately acquainted with what feels like a million (slash seven billions) people, and folks say they couldn't live without them. Can't find a way to get your point across to someone? Just ask Mobile—not only do they have a vast network, but they know everyone in that network extremely well, giving them the ability to communicate with language that feels tailored and targeted. How do they know so much about all their friends? Well, yes, they may have been less-than-sensitive with peoples’ private information in the past, but they’ve made some pretty significant strides there in recent years. Just get them chatting with Contextual and Geotargeting, and privacy won’t be an issue.

Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising: The Showstopper

You know that person at the party who no one can take their eyes off of? At this cookout, it’s Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH for short). They're an incredibly creative and versatile dresser, rivalling Mobile in their ability to grab anyone’s attention. At the same time, there's something reassuringly old-school about them—probably because they inherited many of the same traits as their mom, Out-Of-Home (who’s graciously letting their kid do most of the socializing these days). Oh, and you didn’t hear this from us, but while they may not be public yet, we hear that DOOH and Programmatic have been cozying up quite a lot lately, and word is they’d make a great power couple...

Paid Search Advertising: The One Who’s Going Through a Glow-Up

Good ol’ dependable Search has proven their worth time and time again. And while they've recently entered a transformative time in their life, they haven't let those personal developments take away from the value they provide the friend group. These days, you'll probably find them talking about the diversification of their work, or their new interest in artificial intelligence. Though they'll likely look a lot different in a few years, it’s almost certain to be more of a glow-up than a midlife crisis.

Paid Social Advertising: The Family You Can’t Keep Up With

Everyone loves the Social family, from the undeniably influential Meta, to the mature and career-driven LinkedIn, to the youthful and endlessly creative TikTok (who totally gets why you might be coming up with contingency plans based on their recent legal troubles, but is thriving nonetheless). You’ll often find them hanging out with Video, using their incredibly effective communication skills to connect with giant networks of people.

The only thing about this group is that it keeps growing, and its members are constantly evolving, so it feels like you could spend the entire cookout trying to catch up with each one. Also, they’ve been known to spread a false rumor or two, so keep your eyes peeled for misinformation when you’re hanging out. And hey, last thing: Be nice and go chat up Twitter—they've lost a lot of friends lately.

The Digital Advertising Cookout: Wrapping Up (Your Plate of Leftovers)

Well, there you have it: Each channel brings something unique to the digital advertising cookout. More important, though, is the cumulative effect of all these channels coming together to create an engaging and enjoyable event. One channel on its own is a bit sad, like a paper plate filled with just hot dogs instead of the full scope of cookout deliciousness. That’s why cross-channel experiences, and the omnichannel advertising platforms that empower them, are so important to digital marketing success.

So go ahead: Load up your plate with everything digital advertising has to offer, and enjoy a summer full of top-tier cookouts!

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