The Current State of the Market

Supporting interactive ads on CTV has been limited due to both technical and navigational challenges. These encompass various issues, such as diverse technical specifications and the lack of standardised practices and fragmented capabilities across different devices CTV devices, making it difficult to uniformly deploy interactive ads.

Below we’ll take a look at current efforts in the marketplace to overcome these challenges.

IAB’s Efforts with Templatized Ads

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has been actively working to address the challenges of interactive ad support on CTV. They have introduced templatized ads, which provide a standardized framework for creating and delivering interactive ads across different CTV platforms. These templates attempt to streamline the ad creation process, ensuring a consistent experience for viewers and simplifying the implementation for advertisers. However, formats remain simplified, limited and adoption has been minimal as to date they do not solve all the various technical challenges.

Direct partnerships

To overcome the challenges of supporting interactive ads, some companies have formed direct partnerships. For instance, Walmart and Roku have joined forces to develop interactive shoppable ad experiences on Walmart’s Vudu streaming platform. This collaboration underscores the potential for brands to directly collaborate with CTV manufacturers, leveraging their deep knowledge of the platform to create seamless and engaging interactive ad campaigns.

Interactive Roku ad for Walmart

However, these initiatives are more tailored for larger brands and lack scalability for wider adoption by smaller advertisers.

QR Code Ads

Another emerging ‘innovation’ in supporting interactive ads on CTV is the use of QR codes. Advertisers have started integrating QR codes into their CTV ads, allowing viewers to interact with the ad content via their mobile devices. By scanning these codes, users gain access to additional information, make purchases, or engage with brand experiences beyond the confines of the CTV screen.

This approach enables advertisers to bridge the gap between CTV and mobile devices, expanding the interactivity of their campaigns. Having a clear call to action allows advertisers to attribute success derived from CTV specific campaigns.

Canterbury advertisement screenshot

The downside of course is that while achieving the desired result of engaging the user, it still involves the use of a second screen, raising doubts about it’s classification as an interactive CTV ad.

The Future: Improving Interactive Ad Experiences on CTV

As the market evolves, there are several ways in which interactive ad experiences on CTV can improve:

  1. Standardisation: Implementing Industry-wide standards and guidelines for TV manufacturers in the development and adoption of interactive ad capabilities on their platforms. This would simplify the creation and delivery processes for advertisers, enabling them to connect to their audience with engaging ad formats.
  2. Enhanced Analytics: Improved data measurement and analytics tools specifically tailored for CTV can provide advertisers with valuable insights into the performance and effectiveness of their interactive ad campaigns as opposed to traditional measurements metrics. This data can then be leveraged to optimize future ad experiences, understand the audience and drive better results.
  3. Seamless Integration: Further collaborations between CTV manufacturers and ad platforms can lead to enhanced integration capabilities. This would allow for more seamless and interactive ad experiences that captivate viewers without disrupting their content consumption. 


Supporting interactive ads on CTV presents multiple challenges, mainly due to technical variations and lack of standardisation. However, through efforts like those mentioned above, progress is being made and there is definitely an appetite among brands to will this into existence.

As these advancements continue, advertisers will have greater opportunities to engage audiences on the ever-growing CTV platforms, but it will take leadership and commitment from various industry parties, particularly the CTV platforms and manufacturers themselves, to really move the market forward to a point where interactivity in CTV ads become commonplace.