NewFronts Now: Day 2 showcases new generations and shoppable ads
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Commitments to diversity
Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch addressed the NewFronts audience live on Tuesday to discuss the recent backlash the company has received and how it is prioritizing diversity and inclusion. “It shouldn't take the horrendous murder of George Floyd for us to wake up as a society,” he said. Condé Nast, which came under fire in recent weeks for fostering an internal culture of racism, used the NewFronts to vocalize its commitment to providing a platform for new voices, diverse content and inclusive programming that is more representative of multicultural audiences and communities.
Meanwhile, Snapchat kicked off its NewFront presentation on Tuesday with Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman condemning racism and declaring, “It is time for profound change across the country around racial injustice.” Snap will look to its people and platform to help be part of that change. The company touted its Here For You mental health resource center; highlighted publishing partners that have been covering the protests and how it is surfacing that content; and featured it’s original show “While Black,” a documentary about being young and Black in America, which it will bring back for a second season. Ad Age's Garett Sloane offers a deeper dive into Snapchat's presentation here.
There is a clear push by digital publishers to make it easier for viewers to shop directly through its content and ads. To this end, Snap introduced a shoppable original show, “The Drop,” which lets viewers buy streetwear from celebrities and designers without leaving the app.
Condé Nast is also making all of its video content capable of being shoppable with Prime Shoppable. The technology can be implemented no matter if the content runs on Condé Nast-owned and operated sites or on social channels, including Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube. GQ’s “Grooming Gods,” which features the self-care routines of celebrities, will be the first series to debut with the technology.
On Day 1 of the NewFronts, Hulu provided insights into what it is calling “Generation Stream,” which it defines as multigenerational, spanning all age, race and gender bounds, united in the common behavior of streaming. This group, Hulu said, takes streaming so seriously that they would give up their music-streaming service, social media and favorite food before they gave up their video-streaming service.
On Tuesday, Snap introduced another generation, which it calls “Snapchat Generation.” “It’s hard for me to overstate just how influential and important the Snapchat generation is. They are the most informed, most tolerant, most active and most diverse generation we’ve seen in history,” said Snap Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Mitchell, noting that more than 50 percent of Gen Z Snapchatters come from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Facebook’s fizzle reel
Facebook did not make much of a splash at the NewFronts on Tuesday, reports Ad Age's Garett Sloane. Its long-awaited debut at the Interactive Advertising Bureau event was light on substance, in fact. The company ran a sizzle reel, called “Quarantine Creativity,” showing off the creativity of its brand partners on the platform amid the pandemic. The social platform highlighted Delta, Away and Calvin Klein, among others. It also touted new use cases of Instagram Live during quarantine, like for fitness classes and concerts.
The company had never participated in a NewFront, and typically hosts its own meetings with advertisers to promote its video products. Facebook said in an email ahead of the event that the NewFronts have never been a core part of its sales strategy and that its presence this year was more of a sponsorship role in support of the IAB. If viewers expected more from the company, they did not get it. Facebook remained silent on its showdown with advertisers who are pulling ad dollars as the NAACP calls on brands to boycott the platform in protest of policies they consider weak on hate speech. The North Face, Patagonia, REI and Eddie Bauer are among the brands who have publicly said they are pulling campaigns from Facebook.
Digital video outlook
IAB released its Digital Video Advertising Spend Report, highlighting 2020 as one of the most challenging years for advertisers since 2008, reports Ad Age's Luke Guillory. Despite this, digital video has remained relatively stable during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend driven by connected TV, according to the report. More than half of buyers are shifting dollars from broadcast and cable TV towards connected TV. Notable among the findings, social media video stories—brand-created content that disappears after 24 hours—are growing exponentially, with a projected increase of 62 percent year-over-year.
That's it for today's NewFronts Now. Thanks for reading and we'll be back tomorrow with highlights from Day 3.