VDX.tv launched in the U.S. one year ago in October 2019, followed by a global launch in March of 2020. Needless to say, it’s been quite the journey since our launch! With 2020 bringing on a series of unexpected twists and turns, VDX.tv, like many other companies, was forced to adapt to the changing times and address challenges and opportunities ranging in nature from the operational to the strategic. Additionally, the onset of the global covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and social unrest brought about shifts in consumer behavior that would (and continue to) greatly impact the advertising industry and world as a whole. Join us as we look back over year one at VDX.tv, navigating the changes and looking ahead to the future.
2019 launch of VDX.tv
Adjusting to a “new normal” working environment
In March 2020, just days after the VDX.tv brand was launched in international markets outside of the U.S., much of the world went into quarantine as shelter-in-place orders were issued by local governments. For many companies, this meant that employees would be adopting a new work-from-home routine, turning their homes into office spaces. Fortunately for VDX.tv, a global (we operate in 15 countries worldwide) remote-first company, we were well equipped to tackle the work-from-home life, but that’s not to say we weren’t without our own sets of challenges!
One big question that loomed overhead was how to keep everyone engaged and connected. How could we maintain collaboration across teams and continue to be transparent and consistent in our communications? One solution that transpired: our previously quarterly company-all hands meetings soon became a weekly virtual affair, with our CEO Dilip DaSilva providing an update on the status of the organization and opening up the floor to questions during our 30-minute calls. This enabled us all to feel reassured and more connected to one another, especially with the help of video, which allowed us to see each other’s faces. Another way we reinforced connectedness and transparency across the org was by revisiting and our corporate core values and launching a company-wide training session to illuminate how these values can help unify our organization and guide our decisions and behaviors, even during periods of rapid change. Boldy Adapt and Innovate, Enable Collaboration Beyond Boundaries, Focus on the Customer, Do the Right Thing, and Help Each Other Grow are powerful messages to adhere to, but especially so during hard or uncertain times.
Understanding the challenges of our clients
With many companies reeling from the impacts of the global pandemic and uncertain economy, it came as no surprise when brands and advertisers pressed “pause” on their digital ad campaigns as they sought to re-align their strategies with the new realities of consumers. VDX.tv’s goal throughout the uncertainty was to provide our clients with the support needed to navigate the choppy waters, and with the resources and information to make informed decisions about their digital ad campaigns.
VDX.tv’s Customer Success organization, structured to address the needs of advertisers within different verticals, quickly mobilized to understand the challenges within each vertical and compile the most up-to-date information – data, weekly trends by vertical, state of the industry-reports – to share with our clients. Client-facing operations truly became an “all hands on deck” event, as our teams collaborated to understand changing consumer behavior (see our webinar and podcast Q&A with ITVT on the topics), outline guidelines for creative messaging and targeting during covid-19, and advise advertisers on the best way to reach consumers within their respective verticals (see Auto, Retail). Additionally, our Marketing team had to get a little more creative on the events front, replacing in-person events with virtual events like webinars and trivia nights (which proved to be a hit!)
Addressing shifts in the advertising industry and society at large
One interesting and notable consequence of the pandemic was the increase of CTV viewing as many people around the world were stuck at home. Although we had already noted users migrating from linear TV usage to streaming services pre-covid-19, the pandemic may have played a role in accelerating this process. And according to an April 2020 study by Advertiser Perceptions, OTT/CTV was found to be among the media platforms that benefitted when new budget was added or money was reallocated, even when overall advertising spending was decreased. You can imagine that for VDX.tv, a company focused on tailormade video-driven experiences across all screens – desktop, mobile, and CTV – this was an opportunity to really show the power of video, from the big screen in home to the small screen in one’s pocket.
TV and video weren’t the only things people were watching in 2020. Many of us also had our attention to the wave of social and civil unrest unfolding within the U.S. and on the world stage. With consumers more vocal than ever on the issues they care about, the question on the minds of many brands: “How can my advertising connect with core audiences in meaningful ways that build on shared values?” (check out what VDX.tv’s Bryan Melmed had to say here). Likewise, an upcoming election is the U.S. during an atypical year begged the question: “How are political ads changing in 2020?”
With so much uncertainty in the world, a larger overarching question arose for VDX.tv and that questions was, “What role can ad tech play in making the world a safer and better place?” How could video-driven advertising fit into this picture? The answer was right under our noses and culminated in the launch of a global digital video PSA campaign to help inform the public about covid-19 and spread educational health and safety messages. Spearheaded by our CEO and kicked off by a personal $100K donation, the campaign mobilized a good part of the nearly 500 employees at VDX.tv, as we collaborated to work on building the creative, trafficking the campaigns, outlining promotional strategies, providing reporting, and so much more. It was also an opportunity to get other corporations, brands, publishers and marketers involved, all working together to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The campaign reached users across the US, Pakistan, Italy, France and Spain, and ultimately served over 99 million impressions and drove over four million in-view video completions. You can click here to learn more details about the initiative.
What’s in store for VDX.tv over the next year?
In the coming year, we look forward to continuing to provide our advertisers with tailormade, video-driven solutions that captivate, compel, and convert target audiences across desktop, mobile and CTV. Through our expert teams, proprietary data and technology, and superior customer service, we aim to help advertisers better solve their challenges and measure the impacts of their digital advertising efforts. We also hope to do good in the process!
Celebrating VDX.tv’s first birthday, 2020-style
Thank you for joining us on this look-back over the past year. We have greatly appreciated the support of all our amazing employees, clients, partners and friends who have come along with us on this journey!