NBC Universal Offers Social Media Guarantees to Advertisers

Introduces Ad Product That Simplifies Social Media Buys

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Mazda used NBC's Social Synch product to expand the reach of its on-air advertising.
Mazda used NBC's Social Synch product to expand the reach of its on-air advertising.

NBC Universal is offering advertisers guarantees of impressions on social media, elevating the role of social in ad deals and trying to attract advertisers who are increasingly thinking digital-first.

The offer is part of its new Social Synch product, which helps advertisers create social media campaigns that extend across platforms and NBC Universal's portfolio of brands. The product connects advertisers to NBC Universal programming and talent to help drive social conversations in real time, while also running messaging concurrently on air and on digital platforms.

"This allows us to bring social to the table upfront, which isn't always the case," said Jonathan Anselmo, managing director, MediaVest. "Social is often an ancillary part of larger programs and sometimes and afterthought."

It also removes some of the red tape that's involved in social media campaigns, which includes rights to content and being able to package a broad social footprint, Mr. Anselmo added. It often requires a significant amount of time and effort to manage individual elements of a social activation, but Social Synch is designed to streamline this process.

For example, rather than an advertiser having to go to each individual social media partner, NBC Universal ties the sponsorships and integrations into a unified effort, said Scott Schiller, exec VP-digital advertising sales, NBC Universal.

Mr. Schiller said the goal is to drive broad reach for an advertiser that wants to connect its brands to the social conversations taking place around NBCU content.

NBCU began offering Social Synch to clients several months ago, and thus far it has been part of about 30% of the company's cross-platform partnerships, Mr. Schiller said.

Audi signed on for a social synch campaign around the Emmy Awards, where original content was distributed via social media while other advertising ran on-air. Mazda also partnered with NBCU to expand the reach of its "Mazda Drive for Good" campaign.

NBC Universal says Social Synch campaigns are generating up to 33% more engagement than its paid posts alone.

Viacom working toward guarantees
The company isn't the only network group looking to guarantee social impressions in the way it sets guarantees of TV viewership.

Viacom earlier this year introduced Viacom Echo, an effort to develop social media campaigns for clients across both Viacom and the advertisers' platforms. The company, which owns networks including MTV and BET, is working with Spreadfast (formerly Mass Relevance) for access to social media data that will ultimately underpin social guarantees for advertisers. Advertisers have run 43 initial Viacom Echo campaigns, receiving data back afterward to use as benchmarks.

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