Welcome to Ad Age’s special-edition NewFronts Now newsletter, a roundup of the biggest news, trends, insights and takeaways from IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts.
NewFronts Now: Social platforms highlight positivity on day 4
Please join Ad Age on Friday at 2 p.m. EDT when we will close out the IAB’s event with a wrap-up party, where we will bring together marketing and agency executives to dissect and analyze the presentations of the week. Register here.
Safety in 2020
“Safety” has certainly been a buzzword during the NewFronts over the past several years. But, in 2020, the safety being discussed is a bit different. While in prior years the focus has been on making sure brands have a safe place to run ads—void of bots and not appearing next to controversial content—this year, the message of safety extended to the community creators on digital platforms. On day 4 of the NewFronts, both YouTube and TikTok highlighted how the respective platforms will ensure they are fostering a safe place for creators.
During TikTok’s first-ever NewFront presentation the focus was on the platform being a positive environment where “you are not only allowed to be yourself but you are celebrated for being yourself,” said Kudzi Chikumbu, director of creator community. He noted how TikTok is a home for positive messages around LGBTQ+ representation, Black Lives Matter and body positivity. And Blake Chandlee, VP, global business solutions echoed that sentiment, saying, “We want to create a safe home for everybody, everywhere.” He added that TikTok will be held accountable for creating a safe environment for the Black community.
Over at YouTube, Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Tiedt said during a fireside chat on Thursday that YouTube is committed to protecting users from hate and harassment and ensuring its comments section—which has long been an area of concern—is a positive place for people.
The fireside included YouTube creator Tarek Ali, who said brands need to listen to Black creators and not “tokenize” people of color.
YouTube gets personal
YouTube’s virtual NewFront presentation was all about personalization, from delivering personalized pizzas to the homes of attendees to tailoring the actual video presentation to the interests of viewers. The message is “primetime is personal.”
As part of its NewFronts pitch, Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, said that YouTube Select, the newest ad product from the video service, will include programming from up-and-coming YouTube stars, writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. YouTube Select is one of the premium ad products YouTube is touting at Brandcast, and was mostly developed to place brands in videos from the biggest YouTube stars.
YouTube Select is meant to be a brand-safe environment so advertisers are less fearful about supporting fringe creators. But YouTube will curate the program so it doesn't overlook less-popular rising stars. YouTube splits ad money with creators and this is a way to support the newcomers. Kyncl pointed to some of his favorite lesser-known YouTube accounts during a call ahead of Brandcast, including Micarah Tewers, Tesla Fans, Jamie O'Brien and Mythical Kitchen.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki opened the presentation with a statement of support for Black Lives Matter. “At YouTube, we believe Black Lives Matter,” Wojcicki said in the video. “We have always been a platform that celebrates a diverse set of voices but we've recognized we need to do more, in particular with the Black community.”
TikTok buttons up
Aside from reassuring marketers TikTok is a positive place, the company also introduced a new suite of products for businesses to discover and engage with the social platform’s community. Tools include a new branded effects and partner program to help brands add visual effects to their messaging. The company also introduced Brand Scan, which allows users to have an augmented reality experience with any brand. It is also helping to connect brands with popular TikTok creators through Creator Marketplace. Initially available in only a few regions, Creator Marketplace will help brands discover, and work with, creators on paid brand campaigns. The message to marketers: “Don’t create ads, create TikToks.”
GSTV on the go
GSTV announced that campaigns on its platform will be measured by Foursquare, alongside campaigns deployed across other media for a greater view of performance, writes Ad Age's Luke Guillory. The brand also touted the wide reach: 95 million unique monthly views, 24,000 locations, 91 percent of Americans within 10 miles of GSTV. But, it also focused on the type interactions it has with those viewers.
Sean McCaffrey, president and CEO of GSTV, called the brand a “genuine category of one,” because of the nature of being at a gas pump—a consumer is there with some errand already in mind. “Shopping, running errands, picking up something to eat, it’s at that moment, a rare undistracted moment in the day, that we can influence the path of the consumer,” McCaffrey said. “Existing individual consumer behavior, a fuel-up, presents a new opportunity to deliver a highly targeted audience and measure effective business outcomes.”
That's it for NewFronts Now. Thanks for reading and don't forget to join Ad Age on Friday at 2 p.m. EDT when we will close out the IAB’s event with a wrap-up party, where we will bring together marketing and agency executives to dissect and analyze the presentations of the week. Register here.