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Holiday Marketing 101: Combining Linear and Streaming TV is the Best Way to Send Season’s Greetings and Generate ROI

If you’re not combining linear and OTT, to quote Mr. Parker from A Christmas Story, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”  

Meredith Cunningham Published: November 13, 2023
Holiday Marketing 101: Combining Linear and Streaming TV is the Best Way to Send Season’s Greetings and Generate ROI image

The holiday season is in full swing, and the NRF expects consumers to spend an average of $875 on holiday gifts this year. Brands looking to increase their holiday presence to capture consumer attention will be wise to deploy a cross-channel marketing campaign using the power of video by combining linear broadcast and streaming CTV/OTT (streaming TV) platforms.   

That’s because the power and influence of these channels combined can’t be overlooked. Nielsen found that audiences are tuning into broadcast live TV for sports, news, and live events and to streaming channels for their entertainment. Looking at the upcoming broadcast calendar, the holiday season is full of just that … big NFL games and holiday movies are coming soon. 

Benefits of Broadcast During the Holidays 

Advertising with your local broadcast station during the holidays is an excellent idea for many reasons. Not only can you capture a large and engaged audience on a local, regional, and national level, but you can also help build up the community and help those in need during the busy holiday season.  

Sports and Weather 

First, as we continue to see a rise in live sports viewership on broadcast, your local station will have all the game coverage delivered by award-winning sports reporters. Second, we always see a spike in weather and traffic search volume around the holidays. Rain, sleet, or snow, millions of viewers turn to TEGNA meteorologists for accurate, real-time weather forecasts to make informed decisions about their holiday travel plans.  

Want to know more about our sports and weather coverage?  



Cause Marketing 

As consumers continue buying from brands that share similar values, cause marketing is huge during the holiday season. Studies from Porter-Novelli, the Blackhawk Network, and Integer Group have found:  

  • 72% of consumers consider it increasingly vital to align themselves with companies that share their values. 
  • 68% expressed their willingness to purchase gift cards that support philanthropic initiatives 
  • 60% of consumers actively seek out businesses that contribute to charitable causes. 
  • 57% of consumers prefer to back brands that prioritize local community support  

To ensure your brand resonates with these socially conscious consumers, it’s crucial to communicate the causes you support effectively. Advertising and news media are the primary channels through which consumers become informed about a brand’s charitable endeavors. The Integer Group survey underscores this, with 40% of consumers discovering a brand’s philanthropic activities through advertising and an additional 28% learning about them through news coverage. 

There are also content sponsorship opportunities with your local TEGNA station, such as

The Halo Effect 

Local broadcast news stations are the most trusted channels for informing Americans about what’s happening in their communities. Thanks to the halo effect, these local audiences will positively associate your brand with the local, trusted news channel. After all, local news has emerged as one of the safest environments for advertisers and is a proven and powerful vessel for brand messaging.​ According to the IAB, 84% of consumers feel that advertising within news increases or maintains brand trust, and 45% are more likely to visit the brand’s website or search for more information online.      

Benefits of CTV/OTT Streaming During the Holidays  

All the benefits that come with traditional TV also come with streaming TV. Not only are news, weather, and sports available on streaming, but there are also handfuls of high-quality and feel-good holiday content for viewers to enjoy.  

For example, TEGNA’s streaming apps, such as 11Alive+ and WTHR13+, run in each of the 51 markets we cover. This new generation of ad-supported streaming apps offers 24/7 access to breaking live and on-demand local news, newscast replays, extended live coverage, weather, and station specials and investigations. Additionally, on-demand content from the Locked On Podcast Network, VERIFY, Daily Blast LIVE, True Crime Network, and Quest is available.   

Additionally, streaming TV offers extended reach to a large and unduplicated audience, new targeting opportunities, and measurement capabilities with a tool like TEGNA Attribution.  

  • Unduplicated Audience: When adding a second platform to your campaign, you may be worried that your ad is being shown to the same audience, fearing burnout. On average, our friends at PREMION deliver 85% unduplicated reach – meaning only 15% of the CTV and OTT viewers also saw the ad on linear TV.
  • Advanced Targeting: Capture audiences that can’t be reached through linear alone – like the cord-cutters, cord-nevers, and those that watch on gaming consoles or through streaming sticks, CTVs, or laptops. With streaming TV advertising, you can also narrow target audiences based on geography, from regions and states to ZIP codes, consumer trends such as interests, intenders, in-market shoppers, and more.
  • Measurable Results: Linear and streaming TV ad campaign results can now be measured with a tool like TEGNA Attribution. This measurement tool allows our partners to measure the effectiveness of their TV and OTT campaigns by connecting viewing behaviors to engagement metrics, such as website visits, app downloads, and more.  

Big Results for the Big Screen 

The most significant advantage a linear and CTV/OTT streaming TV campaign provides, however, is the big-screen, lean-in viewing experience that audiences love – and that sentiment crosses over to the ads they view alongside their favorite TV content.  

A study from MediaScience found that viewers pay more attention to TV and streaming ads on a big screen than their mobile counterparts. The study also found that ad recall is 2.2 times higher and purchase intent is 1.3 times higher when an ad is viewed on a big screen.   

Advantages of Combining Linear Broadcast & Streaming  TV 

What do all these stats and insights mean for your brand advertising? There’s a handful of benefits that we’ve seen to our partners’ advantage, including:

  • Linear TV and streaming TV don’t work against each other. Instead, they are complementary pieces to the puzzle.
  • Linear offers unmatched reach, scale, and trustworthiness — streaming offers more detailed targeting and personalization.

In the holiday spirit, we’ll leave you with one major takeaway: If you’re not combining linear and CTV/OTT streaming, to quote Santa Clause in A Christmas Story, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”   

Give the Gift of a Cross-Channel Marketing Plan with TEGNA 

Cross-channel marketing is a paramount strategy for connecting with today’s diverse and digitally savvy audience. By weaving together Linear TV, CTV/OTT Streaming, and Digital solutions that TEGNA offers, brands can create a memorable and compelling brand experience to drive ROI during the holiday season. Let’s get in touch if you’re ready to learn more about how our marketing and advertising solutions can help your brand.

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