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OTT Retargeting Strategy

The essence of an OTT retargeting strategy lies in its ability to connect online user behavior with OTT platform advertising. This connection is primarily facilitated through data collected by tracking pixels embedded in websites and apps. When a user interacts with a brand’s digital asset, these pixels collect data about their online activities, interests, and behaviors. This data is then used to segment audiences and tailor advertisements to be shown on OTT platforms, ensuring that these ads are relevant and personalized.

A critical aspect of OTT retargeting is the ability to track users across devices. Given that OTT content can be accessed through various devices, including smart TVs, mobile devices, and gaming consoles, retargeting strategies must account for this cross-device behavior to maintain consistent messaging and targeting accuracy.

Understanding the intricacies of how retargeting functions in this environment, especially through the use of pixels and IP address identification, is crucial for modern marketers. Let’s explore this using the example of an advertisement delivered on ESPN through a smart TV.

Retargeting in OTT advertising revolves around serving ads to individuals who have previously shown interest in a brand or product but didn’t complete a desired action, such as a purchase. This process is initiated when a user interacts with a digital asset of a brand, like visiting a website. Here, a tracking pixel, a small piece of code embedded on the website, is triggered. This pixel is instrumental in gathering data about the user’s online behavior, such as the pages they visited or items they showed interest in.

This data collected by the pixel is then used to segment audiences for targeted advertising campaigns. The segmentation is based on various user behaviors, enabling advertisers to tailor their campaigns more precisely. When it comes to delivering these ads on OTT platforms, such as ESPN on a smart TV, the role of household IP addresses becomes crucial.

An ad server utilizes the household’s IP address to identify and reach the specific set of viewers. When a user browses the internet or interacts with digital content, their IP address is logged by the pixel. This IP address acts as a digital footprint, linking the user’s online behavior to their household. Subsequently, when the user accesses an OTT platform like ESPN through their smart TV, the ad server identifies the household’s IP address. It then cross-references this address with its database of collected user behaviors associated with various IP addresses.

Once a match is found, the ad server delivers targeted advertisements based on the previously collected data. For example, if a user had earlier shown interest in sports gear on a website, and their IP address is recognized when they are watching ESPN through their smart TV, the ad server can retarget them with ads relevant to sports gear. This method ensures that the advertisements are highly relevant and are more likely to engage the viewer, thereby increasing the potential for conversions.

By analyzing pixel data, advertisers can create detailed audience segments. This segmentation is crucial for personalizing ads to the needs and interests of different user groups.

Cross-Device Tracking

In the OTT space, users often switch between devices. Pixels help in cross-device tracking, ensuring that retargeting campaigns are consistent across all platforms and devices used by a target audience.

Conversion Tracking

Pixels are not just about targeting; they also play a crucial role in tracking conversions. This allows advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their retargeting campaigns and make data-driven decisions for optimization.


In essence, the sophisticated use of pixels for data collection and the strategic use of household IP addresses for ad delivery form the backbone of effective retargeting in OTT advertising. This approach not only enhances the relevance of ads served to potential customers but also bridges the gap between online behavior and targeted advertising on OTT platforms. As OTT viewership continues to rise, understanding and leveraging these technologies becomes increasingly vital for advertisers seeking to maximize their reach and impact in the digital advertising realm.

OTT retargeting strategies represent a nuanced approach to digital advertising, where the emphasis is on re-engaging users who have previously shown interest in a brand or product through OTT platforms. This strategy is especially significant given the increasing consumption of content via OTT services, such as streaming platforms and smart TV apps.