Since the 1960s, television’s biggest networks have been inviting marketers to over-the-top presentations across New York in hopes of securing ad spend before the end of the summer.
This year was no different, with names like Stephen Colbert and Tony Romo adding spice to otherwise sales-oriented messages that can quickly go flat in an industry that has stalled over the last several years.
New and Exciting Opportunities for Television Advertisers
This year’s events broke the marketing doldrums that have plagued the television industry recently, with more focus on digital marketing.
Although digital spend is still a small part of where networks get their funding, it’s a growing and important segment. Not only do brands increasingly need to be able to glean more data from their audiences for future messages, they also want advertisers of all types to be more accountable for placing the right segment in front of the right viewers.
Turner Broadcasting, for example, presented a plan that included a data and audience-targeting venture with rivals Viacom and Fox Networks Group. Not only is Turner focused on placing the right ad in front of the right viewers, it also intends to go out on a limb to increase customer engagement with the use of fewer, but longer, commercial spots that allow a brand to really dig into the message. The company believes this move will also create a better viewer experience overall.
Fox Networks has made a decision to stop selling advertisements on popular channel FX’s digital and on-demand properties, instead allowing a particular marketer to act as the show’s sole sponsor. In these situations, customers can choose to view a 60-second spot from the program’s sponsor in exchange for otherwise ad-free content. What was old is new again, it would seem.
A Shift from the Traditional
Although many other networks refused to go as in-depth or offer any real groundbreaking advertising opportunities, brands present at these events were clearly looking for a shift from the traditional. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Lou Paskalis, who oversees paid media investment, was among those who wanted more when he was interviewed by the New York Times.
“The thing I’d like to see the most, frankly, is even more focus on user experience and opportunities for marketers to join the conversation around the programming than just advertise adjacent to the programming. How can marketers do more to add to the experience, [rather] than just be the tax you have to pay to enjoy the experience?”