Roku gives advertisers ability to revamp or pull creative quickly in its NewFront pitch
Roku is offering advertisers new services to help them revamp, change out or pull their creative, as well as adjustments in pricing, as part of its NewFront pitch. It also says advertisers won’t have to pay for viewers they are already reaching on TV.
These efforts are meant to provide added flexibility and control to advertisers who, individually, face different realities due to the pandemic as they enter the annual upfront ad haggle. It’s also meant to assure brands who might feel uneasy about making upfront commitments at a time of so much uncertainty.
Some brands have had to shutter their stores, while others find their products flying off shelves, says Alison Levin, VP, ad sales and strategy, Roku. “What advertisers are worried about is how do they deliver the right message today, not what was the right message a month ago,” she says.
Levin says Roku has already struck upfront deals with some consumer packaged goods brands and financial services companies, as well as other industries that are experiencing strong consumer demand right now.
Some of Roku’s new offerings include creative services that will adapt or enhance national ad buyers with overlays that provide different information to viewers depending on their location. For instance, a quick-service restaurant that is open for take out in New Mexico but only for delivery in New York can specify that without having to re-do their entire creative for each location.
Roku will also retool brands social creative that they use on Instagram or Twitter, for example, and adapt it to a 15-second spot that can run on the streaming platform.
These creative services will come at no added cost to brands who strike commitments with Roku, Levin says.
And if local regulations change, Roku will pull any national TV buys in any zip code within 24 hours.
Roku is also looking to right-size its pricing on OTT, which has sometimes been a deterrent for brands wanting to make the jump from TV to streaming video. Typically, when buying over-the-top inventory, a 15-second spot costs the same as a 30-second, Levin says. Roku will equalize pricing in its Roku Channel so advertisers pay less for a 15-second than they would a 30-second commercial.
Roku will also guarantee that brands receive unduplicated, incremental reach. This means marketers will only pay for households that they don’t reach on linear TV.
“We are hearing from our partners that these new products give them the confidence to shift dollars more quickly into streaming,” Levin says.
But, of course, with marketers reassessing their ad budgets and strategy, Roku isn’t immune to the same challenges as the rest of the industry. The company noted on its most recent earnings call that it saw a greater number of ad cancellations than normal.
Roku will host it first (virtual) NewFront presentation on June 22 as part of the official IAB agenda. The presentation will also be available to stream on Roku so clients can watch it from their living-room screens.
It will also host category-specific presentations the week of June 8 to provide more in-depth insights for industries like restaurants, auto and consumer packaged goods, among others.