Robert Haskitt of Extreme Reach Discusses Digital Video Advertising


Robert Haskitt is the CMO at Extreme Reach and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy and functions including brand, audience, business-to-business and regional marketing, as well as insights, global communications, policy and related teams.

We asked him a few questions about digital video advertising best practices, video ad spend and Extreme Reach’s offering.

Q: First, please tell us a bit about Extreme Reach and what makes you different from other providers in the marketplace?

RH: Extreme Reach is the leading provider of video advertising management and distribution solutions. We enable advertisers to digitally deliver their video creative to all of the major TV and cable networks, thousands of local TV media outlets across the US and Canada and all of the top online publishers, as well as mobile and outdoor destinations. Our platform simplifies the management of all video advertising and seamlessly ties TV and in-stream advertising together.

As for our competitive differentiators, we’re the No. 1 TV and online video ad platform and the world’s broadest-reaching video ad delivery network with digital connections to more than 5,300 TV media outlets and more HD TV destinations than any other.

Q: Online ad spending is growing, but everyone always talks about moving TV dollars online. What do you think about that and what is needed to make that shift happen?

RH: The reality is that TV buys are increasingly including in-stream advertising in their packages, so the spend isn’t necessarily being transferred, it’s often being shared as an expansion of TV. However, the execution of those expanded campaigns needs to be streamlined and standardized. There needs to be an infrastructure in place that allows TV advertisers to easily cross over into in-stream advertising without incurring issues with video quality, talent agreements, workflow, etc. Rather than treating online video as a separate camp vying for dollars from the other, the two should be handled in a way that brings them together yet leverages the benefits of each.  Extreme Reach isn’t an advocate for one or the other, our goal is to bridge the gap, so multi-screen campaigns are more executable, more integrated and more standardized.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the advantages of digital video over television for marketers? How about the disadvantages (if any) and how can we overcome those?

RH: Digital video’s advantage is that it’s more accountable, more measurable and produces readily available or actionable insights. Television’s advantage is audience size and the acceptance of advertising as part of the experience. The TV audience is becoming more fragmented and its viewing habits are shifting, but they’re often shifting to an online experience that’s a lot like TV. In-stream advertising in particular is very powerful because it has all of the benefits of online advertising, but the audience is likely to be more open to the TV-like format.

Q: What are some best practices from brands delving into the world of digital video?

RH: We’re seeing some of the biggest brands adding in-stream advertising to their TV campaigns. There are three best practices that come up most often.  

First, upload a single, pristine commercial master to a central video platform for use across TV, the web and other video media. That way, brands and their agencies can maintain close control of the quality and usage of the ad creative. Never let a copy of a copy of an ad make its way in front of an audience.

Second, connect everyone involved in video advertising, including agency of record, interactive agency, regional agencies or affiliates, etc. on a centralized platform. When everyone is working from one place, ads can be shared, tracked, localized and trafficked from the same master. And advertisers can be sure partners are following brand guidelines and that ads are used in accordance with talent agreements. Never let an ad appear somewhere it shouldn’t.  

Third, use a single, broad-reaching digital delivery network to distribute (or serve) your pristine video creative to all broadcast media and all online media. This centralized approach makes it easy to track broadcast deliveries and online ad impressions. It also eliminates a number of steps and potential issues with the quality of your creative across some video media.

Generally, brands should consider not separating related video campaigns by devices. Instead, consider a more connected “video everywhere” approach to campaign execution and reach your audience more efficiently and consistently, wherever you tell your story.


Robert Haskitt is the CMO at Extreme Reach and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy and functions including brand, audience, business-to-business and regional marketing, as well as insights, global communications, policy and related teams. Robert’s career spans more than 15 years in both TV and online advertising. Before joining Extreme Reach, Robert served as Director of Marketing at Microsoft where he introduced the Microsoft Media Network and Microsoft Advertising brands and served as Marketing Director for the Atlas Digital Marketing Suite. Prior to that, Robert was Executive Vice President of Product Marketing at FastChannel Network, a provider of SaaS solutions for television advertising management and distribution. He’s served as a marketing advisor to several online marketing technology firms, been a featured speaker at industry events including the iMedia Brand Summit, and written several articles on the subject of digital marketing effectiveness.