Elephants in the virtual room
COVID-19 and social unrest are top of mind this week. Day one kicked off with the IAB addressing this unprecedented time in the industry. In his opening remarks, Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO, IAB (pictured) said, “Taking down statues is a good thing, but we can also build new monuments, and that’s better. I want to use the NewFronts platform to encourage you to build.”
"It does seem a little odd," said David Cohen, IAB president, acknowledging that the conversation about digital media is not quite as important as some of the greater issues playing out in the real world.
But at the same time as the IAB said “change is upon us,” the presentations opened with three white males, as NewFronts hosts Scott Rogowsky, the former host of HQ Trivia, and TVREV’s Alan Wolk chatted with Nielsen CEO David Kenny about how important connected TV has become for media plans.
“Measuring people is how you get great marketing,” Kenny said. “We capture all races. No one is left behind at Nielsen.”
Hulu President Kelly Campbell made a direct call for brand leaders to use their voices to push through change and noted the power of streaming TV to elevate talent and voices that better reflect society.
And Tubi boasted how it is democratizing content and making sure viewers are represented on screen. The company pointed to its offerings in Black cinema, content that highlights the LGBTQ community, and its upcoming Tubi En Espanol, which will debut this fall and house Spanish-language content.
Meanwhile, Crackle is rewarding the first ad agency to make an upfront investment in the platform with 5 percent back in media to promote a charity of its choice.
Hulu goes shopping
Hulu made its first NewFront presentation as part of Walt Disney, announcing that it’s introducing a transactional ad format, GatewayGo. The new format is a way for viewers to interact with a commercial and then take an action on a second screen, like access special offers or make a purchase. The goal is to upend TV as a top-of-the-funnel advertising medium and build the foundation for bottom-of-the-funnel, action-oriented campaigns. By doing this, it will allow TV brands to attract digital-focused advertisers, like direct-to-consumer brands that typically utilize social channels and other digital advertising.