RTL AdConnect and the new life of the living room


>>> See full library

Background information

This week’s egtabite puts the spotlight on RTL AdConnect’s latest research on how to advertise better in an evolving Total Video World.

Aptly named The New Life of The Living Room, the study is a collaboration between smartclip and RTL AdConnect across 10 European countries. The publication aims to understand how the pandemic has impacted European media consumption habits, especially concerning the big screen.


A combination of qualitative and quantitative research was decided on as the ideal approach for the research initiative.

The qualitative research involved in-depth interviews followed by one week of tracking media consumption behaviour via WhatsApp. This research was carried out in the UK, France, and Germany from November to December 2021. Based on three focus groups, it included six households in each country (two per target group).

Based on the findings of the qualitative research, quantitative research was then carried out in February 2022 via fieldwork in ten European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK). More than 8500 people participated – 700 to 1000 participants per country – answering 16 questions to provide extensive quantitative data.

Device usage and viewing behaviours per focus group

The research highlighted several differences among the three focus groups in terms of device usage/technical set-up, media consumption behaviours, and attitudes to advertising. In short: The Young (aged 18-34) are TV addicts – the TV is on independently of what they’re doing. For the Family focus group (people with children under 18), the living room is where they enjoy time with their kids. The Midlife focus group (aged 35-64, no children in the household), finally, considers the living room as a cosy refuge.


The study revealed interesting conclusions which have important implications for everyone in the advertising delivery chain.

A FRAGMENTED AUDIENCE: Connected/smart TV audiences are fragmented across multiple platforms. The increased choice for users as well as the increasingly numerous touchpoints mean that maintaining the scalability television brought to brands – making them famous across the nation – presents more of a challenge.

In response to different viewing preferences, various solutions have emerged to help advertisers streamline their media strategy efforts and reach audiences across this fragmented landscape. Major VOD platforms have started to provide integrated offerings that include BVOD, SVOD, and AVOD services.  Additionally, tech platforms are not only providing premium inventory on one supply-side platform, but they are also developing holistic solutions that enable advertisers to access all via one buying platform.

LEVERAGING DATA AND TECHNOLOGY CAN REDUCE ANNOYANCE: The research shows that irrespective of the viewing platform, advertisements are often perceived as disruptive. While a large number of participants remain in front of the TV screen during ad breaks, many are not paying attention to the advertisements. However, while research participants did indicate that they found advertisements annoying, they did express a desire to be served more personalised, targeted advertisements that speak to their interests and deliver relevant product recommendations.

Therefore, advertisers and publishers need to explore technology solutions that minimise annoyance by maximising relevance. TV’s shift to digital presents opportunities for brands to move beyond the one-to-many approach of traditional TV advertising and harness the power of a one-to-one targeted approach. Precise targeting for ad delivery (such as Addressable TV advertising and contextual targeting), non-intrusive ad formats (such as L-banners, mastheads, and pre-roll in-stream ads), and cross-device frequency capping and ad sequencing solutions can prevent ad fatigue and enable storytelling capabilities that capture attention and spark interest.

ULTRA-PERSONALISED UNIVERSES: Thanks to the multiplication of screens, video content consumption is becoming ever-more fragmented, and as every member of the household owns at least one personal device, video content consumption also has the potential to become very individualised. Combined with new adtech solutions such as Addressable TV advertising, this opens up an opportunity for advertisers to build ultra-personalised universes for their target customers.

Whether brands are advertising in print, online, or within video content, delivering effective media campaigns is not a simple process. But with industry alliances simplifying the process and with expert research providing the guidance needed to adjust and develop tactics to align with these changes, RTL AdConnect is confident that, as we enter the New Life of the Living Room, video advertising will continue to be central to many brands’ media strategies, delivering high engagement in households across Europe.

It’s now clear that audiences are not just static target groups, they are individuals with needs, desires, and opinions that can shift and change in response to what is unfolding around them – personally, locally, nationally, and globally. A thorough understanding of these individuals and their media consumption behaviours is essential to the success of video advertising, and that is what we have aimed to provide by partnering on this brand-new research initiative,” assert Stephane Coruble, CEO of RTL AdConnect and Oliver Vesper, co-CEO of smartclip.