Seasonal advertising with CTV: Graduation

4 min read·Dec 20, 2022

Hop in losers, we're graduating!

There’s nothing quite as nostalgic as those last few sweaty months of high school leading up to graduating by the seat of your pants and making out all Summer before moving off to college. Your family was so relieved they bought you that beater you begged them for, remember? That visceral reaction to a core memory is exactly the type of impactful storytelling TV advertisement is meant for, yet was unavailable to 99% of brands due to the time and budget-intensive linear TV advertising model… but not anymore!

CTV advertising is breaking the mold by allowing companies of all sizes to not only afford primetime television slots, but also have a transparent and simple way to schedule and track them. In fact, the Vibe self-registration platform is so easy to use, it will take as much time to launch as a run-of-the mill Facebook Ad campaign, with twice the impact.

A great way to begin advertising in any new channel is with a short, seasonal campaign with a clear timeline and simple KPIs, which is why graduation season is such a great testing ground.

Diverse targets, diverse industries, one growing market

After two years of delayed or outright canceled graduation celebrations, 2022 grads - and their families - are ready to party. Not only are families and friends willing to spend more to celebrate their graduate’s special day, but the number of graduates - for both secondary and post-secondary education -  is steadily increasing. That’s a whole lot of people looking for something special to purchase.

The graduation season opportunity is also interesting due to sheer volume of industries it touches:

  • Travel and leisure: to go celebrate with nana, who you haven’t seen in 2 years, or be a lounge lizard in Berlin… you decide
  • Real estate: for starter homes, off-campus housing or just a new apartment to get away from their insufferable roommates
  • Home decor: because they’re graduates now and that Bob Marley poster has to go
  • CPG brands: for the parties!
  • Car dealerships: Remember that beater we mentioned earlier? Well now you’re a parent and your daughter wants one.
  • Luxury brands: After 4 years of hearing “I can’t do this anymore, I’m going to quit!” from tearful college students trying to muddle through a pandemic, somebody needs some diamonds.    

Why CTV?

So we’ve made the case for you to look more closely at seasonal campaign planning around graduation, but why should CTV become part of your omni-channel strategy? Three major differentiators come to mind when comparing CTV to other digital channels.


It’s no secret that TV advertising has lost its luster over the past 20 years, as alternate digital channels have offered more opportunities for personalization, control, and reporting at a fraction of the cost, but long-form TV ads remain best-in-class when it comes to emotional storytelling. In fact, a recent study by found that “television advertising increases the willingness to pay, in direct and indirect manner, while ads positively affect the customer engagement with the brand as it is considered as the most credible and relevant means of advertising according to the consumers.” Positive associations, customer engagement, and authority? Yes please!


CTV targeting works differently from what most digital marketers have gotten used to, but with global privacy regulations, updates from browsers, and mobile operating systems cracking down on 3rd party cookies, that’s a good thing! There are many ways CTV platforms can personalize targeting, but in the case of a graduation campaign, household targeting is ideal. You mean New-Grad-Lisa and her nana can watch an ad for Pandora jewelry together and look at each other knowingly while nana mouths “I’m so proud of you honey,” then googles “Pandora jewelry store near me” that night? Score!


While the emotional impact and household targeting capabilities of TV (both linear and connected) work in favor of a marketer building a campaign for graduation season, the great CTV/OTT differentiator is undoubtedly its ability to provide (and track) engaging, interactive content through demographic and behavioral targeting. With the simple Vibe self-serve CTV platform, you can easily toggle between ad groups within one campaign, so that the Good Morning America crew, telenovela familia, and Adult Swim nerds all get served different creatives within one Graduation Celebration campaign, with one goal: conversion. Magic!

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