Welcome to Ad Age’s NewFronts 2022 newsletter. We’ll be sharing a daily roundup of events, interviews and sessions from IAB. You can sign up here to get updates delivered to your inbox.
Amy Poehler’s Twitch tutorial
Comedian Amy Poehler helped Amazon’s pitch to media buyers on Monday, at the e-commerce giant’s first live NewFronts: not an “upfronts,” “downfronts” or “oldfronts,” Poehler quipped. Poehler needed some help, though, with Twitch—she’s not in the main demographic for the video game-focused site.
Amazon-owned Twitch is a place to “watch people, watch people, play video games,” Poehler said, a little bemused. To "help" her, friend and fellow comedian Paul Scheer played a little game show called “Teach Amy Twitch.” The bit also served to teach advertisers about the platform.
Amazon’s NewFronts focused on new ad products in Prime Video and Freevee, the ad-supported video-on-demand app. Amazon shows have new virtual product placements. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also presented, discussing Amazon’s new football streaming rights. And Twitch touted new brand-friendly material, like an unboxing show called “Drops with Swagg.”
While many things have changed more than two years into the pandemic, it seems comedians' jokes about advertising dealmaking have remained much the same. Poehler made fun of all the jargon and acronyms in connected TV, listing terms like MVPD, vMVPD, SVOD and “OMGs,” she joked. She then joked that the big news is “Amazon is going back to just selling books.”
Snap, Crackle, Cameo
Snap is working with Cameo—the app for celebrities and athletes to sell personalized videos—to create ads, Ad Age's Garett Sloane reports. “Cameo acts as our talent agency and or production house,” Peter Naylor, Snap’s VP of sales, Americas, said in an interview ahead of the NewFronts showcase. Snap has already tested Cameo-produced ads on its own app with Mattress Firm, Naylor said. Mattress Firm recruited Erin Andrews, Mario Cantone, Shareef O'Neal, and others for its "Unjunk Your Sleep" campaign. Cameo has 45,000 video creators on the platform.
Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer, opened the company’s NewFronts at Lincoln Center on Tuesday with a swipe at rival Meta, formerly Facebook. “This is not just some distant far off ‘futureverse,’” Gorman said, discussing Snapchat’s advanced augmented reality tech. The sarcastic-sounding “futureverse” was a clear reference to all of Meta’s “metaverse” talk.
Meta has been talking about a potential “metaverse” for months, but Snap has deployed functional augmented reality for years. Snap was discussing its AR as a marketing platform: “Inviting your brand to enhance the real world today,” Gorman said. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has publicly said that the company doesn’t even use the word “metaverse.”
This was Snap’s first NewFronts live in New York. Snap has some original shows, including ones with creators like Addison Rae and Charli and Dixie D’Amelio.
Celebrities and shopping
The Roku NewFront event was star-studded, featuring speakers Chrissy Tiegen and Martha Stewart, as well as Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, who is slated to play Weird Al Yankovic, Ad Age's Garett Sloane observed.
In advertising news, Roku’s latest ad program will introduce a way for brands to create shoppable ads through Roku Pay. The new feature will enable businesses to sell products directly through the advertisements that appear in a user’s streaming experience.
And on the measurement front—a hot-button topic leading into this year's ad haggle—Roku announced a new collaboration with Microsoft for Audience Insights, which will dive into how ads served through both linear and streaming impact online searches.
Condé Nast gets crickets
Hot off of the star-studded Met Gala on Monday, Condé Nast showed up to this year’s NewFronts with an onslaught of new content, but the multiple montages of celebrities rattling off buzzy quotes were met with total silence from those in the room—even inspiring a joke about the audience's lack of response from Pam Drucker Mann, president and global chief revenue officer.
Shoppable ads keep showing up
Condé Nast also announced an expansion of its shoppable opportunities, which builds buyable content directly into its series. Condé Nast Shoppable will now be available across multiple platforms, allowing advertisers to monetize videos on Condé Nast owned-and-operated platforms and social channels. The company joins Roku and Peacock in moving into shoppable video. Consumers have become more comfortable going from viewing to shopping, and media companies are looking for how to connect advertisers to those viewers.
New FAST channels (free ad-supported streaming) have been on display this week. Samsung Ads announced today four new channels slated for this year that are focused on cooking, automotive, home and holiday. “As the world’s leading smart TV manufacturer, Samsung has an unmatched ability to turn viewer insights into new content opportunities,” Sang Kim, senior of product and marketing, Samsung Electronics, said in a statement. “Beyond catering to the genres and content types we know our viewers love, these channels were also created to provide vertical-specific, brand-safe inventory for some of the most in-demand advertising market segments.”
What to watch tomorrow:
Day three will include presentations from Digitas, TikTok and Twitter. To see when and where all NewFronts events will take place, bookmark Ad Age's calendar.