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Yesterday was a first for the NewFronts: The Interactive Advertising Bureau delivered its digital content showcase virtually instead of in person.
The opening presentations were, of course, delayed as the IAB had to cancel the annual showcase, which had been scheduled to take place in New York City in April, before coronavirus hit.
So instead of packed shows in Manhattan, IAB's digital partners are livestreaming their sales presentations. The shows will roll all week with participants including Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube. On Monday, Roku, Samsung Ads, Hulu, Crackle and others took the first shift with NewFront shows. Ad Age's Senior Editor Jeanine Poggi is leading our coverage and will follow developments all week.
The digital platforms are discussing how to work with advertisers during a time when the industry and the world are rocked by social ills from the coronavirus to inequities in racial justice. So the usual sales pitches are far from usual: NewFront presenters are expected to address these issues while also striking an upbeat tone about their new products and video programs.
Roku was the first presenter, and revealed a series of advertising products meant to lure brands into its streaming TV domain. One of Roku's new products allows brands to reserve commercial space in the top 1 percent of video on its service, so they only appear in the most premium settings. That is the type of exclusive offer advertisers look for when they commit to NewFront deals.
Today, Snapchat, Conde Nast, Facebook and Vevo are on the IAB's schedule.