Hyperlocal Restaurant Advertising Hits CTV

Hyperlocal Restaurant Advertising Hits CTV

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Roku is bringing CTV advertising to restaurants. The company has partnered with DoorDash to combine CTV advertising and local restaurant promotions – to our knowledge, the first company to do so.

Specifically, the new partnership builds a channel for CTV advertising for local restaurants that already work with DoorDash. The multi-year deal in North America offers DoorDash merchants the ability to buy and deploy interactive and shoppable ads that let users click-to-order food deliveries on the spot.

And because ordering food with your TV remote can be clunky, Roku has engineered a UX that switches the checkout to the comfortable domain of your smartphone. After clicking a banner, users are sent an SMS message that links them to the DoorDash app to redeem promotions and complete their order.

DoorDash is kicking things off with Wendy’s, which will begin offering $5 off any purchase of $15 or more. This is meant to get things rolling with a recognizable national brand. But the real potential of this program could lie with the long tail of SMB restaurants, bringing them into the realm of CTV.


This is just the latest in a series of moves from Roku to build out its CTV program and diversify its business through greater ad revenue. As we examined in June, this includes a deal with Walmart that positions the company’s products as shoppable CTV ads to 70 million Roku users.

From a UX perspective, shoppers click Roku banner overlays to buy a given product. Those banners join the mix of ads that Roku delivers throughout its interface, including when shows are paused. This eliminates friction from traditional methods of making content on your TV shoppable, such as QR codes.

Though it could necessitate a UX learning curve, one benefit of this CTV-based shopping format is that it aligns with evolving consumer behavior, given that they often purchase movies or other content with their TV remote. In Roku’s case, it lets them use an established payment method already programmed in.

And the data support this use case as Roku reports that one in three users order take-out or food delivery weekly. 36 percent of Roku users also signal interest in shoppable components like QR codes or SMS. For all these reasons, CTV continues to collide with a separate trend: shoppability.

Roku’s latest move stems from that branch. Once the domain of e-commerce websites, fully-contained shopping flows are everywhere from Instagram Stories to YouTube videos. Now, the latest shoppability play invades the living room, propelled by the general growth of CTV advertising and “T-Commerce.”

Privacy-First Era

Zeroing in on the CTV angle, all the above comes at an opportune time. As we’ve examined, streaming and CTV advertising are experiencing a surge. This is mostly due to the privacy-inflicted ad-world shifts that are causing budget to shift from behavioral targeting (e.g. social ads) to contextual targeting.

That brings back the heydey of pre-digital advertising when ads were placed based on adjacent content. Here, Roku could presumably do a bit of both – contextual targeting informed by whatever movie or show is playing, and some behavioral targeting based on their purchase activity from CTV ad units.

The latter is legit in privacy terms because it utilizes first-party data. It’s not sharing, selling, or buying user data from an ad network but simply using the self-contained data from purchases under Roku’s own roof. Along with contextual targeting, this first-party advantage is a big factor in the privacy-first era.

We’ll keep watching as the large screen gradually becomes a shopping touchpoint. It will take time for cultural acclimation to use a TV remote for shopping. After all, habits are hard to form so this could face usability challenges. But it’s worth watching as a segment of shoppability’s continued rise.

Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local, and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at Localogy.com