Select Page

Welcome to Ad Age’s NewFronts 2022 newsletter. We’ll be sharing a daily roundup of events, interviews and sessions from Interactive Advertising Bureau's dog-and-pony show throughout the week. You can find all of Ad Age's NewFronts coverage here

Twitter's quickie 

Twitter kept its pitch to advertisers brief during its NewFront presentation today, as the platform awaits a sale to Elon Musk, Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes. The live presentation in New York City lasted only 20 minutes; Snap's marathon session the day prior, in comparison, was nearly two hours long, while Meta, Roku and Amazon were all around an hour and a half. Twitter's presentation comes just a week after Musk made an offer to take Twitter private for $44 billion, a deal the board approved and threatens tp upend its advertising business. 

But, unsurprisingly, Twitter made no mention of any of that. Instead, it stuck to business as usual, announcing Twitter packing new publishing partnerships, video sponsorship opportunities, and “brand safety,” the latter of which is top of mind for brands since Musk has suggested looser moderation policies.

D for Diversity

As we enter into year two of Madison Avenue's pledges around diversity, equity and inclusion, including investing more in diverse-owned media channels, publishers catering to diverse communities gave the industry mediocre grades for their efforts thus far. 

To open the day three of the NewFronts, IAB’s executive vice president and chief industry growth officer, Sheryl Goldstein, asked industry leaders what grade they would give the industry and what more can be done. 

“I would say a C or C+,” said Deva Bronson, executive vice president and head of brand assurance and publisher-direct investment at Dentsu. “We have the potential to get a B if we keep our efforts and energy high.” Gila Wilensky, president of Xaxis U.S., agreed, giving a B- or C+. But Soon Mee Kim, chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Omnicom Public Relations Group, gave the industry a D. 

“We have so far to go,” Kim said. “We need to address systemic exclusion, and we need drastic change. I see progress, but I also see places in our industry where people want to default. I sense great fatigue across our society.”

The panel went on to discuss the challenge of onboarding new employees virtually and pushing brands to invest more in minority-owned media. “It’s up to us to push them,” said Wilensky. “That’s why they work with us.”

To the top of TikTok 

TikTok announced a new ad tier, Pulse, which will focus on the top 4% of videos to help brands capitalize on trends and generate sales. The videos, available to Pulse advertisers, are not necessarily the ones with the most views, but they are ranked according to a formula that measures how much they are “taking off,” reports Garett Sloane. Pulse will also be the app’s first revenue-sharing ad product with creators.

AfroTech in the metaverse

Blavity pledged during its presentation to get 50,000 people onto Web3 this year—be it buying or minting NFTs, using blockchain technology, or visiting the metaverse. The Black-owned media company is already familiar with the space, having hosted two of its AfroTech conferences in the metaverse

Meta evokes Anna Delvey

Keke Palmer hosted Meta’s first NewFronts on Tuesday night, and she joked about the setting: “Welcome to the building that Anna Delvey tried to buy,” Palmer said. Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, took up the top floor of Fotografiska New York, the photography museum, made famous by Delvey’s con-job story, which was retold on Netflix this year. 

But Meta’s NewFronts show wasn’t about Netflix programs, it was about Facebook Stories, Instagram Reels and Horizon Worlds virtual reality. Meta tapped creators like Samah Dada, who conducted a baking tutorial, for its sales pitch. Nada Stirratt, Meta’s VP of Americas, and Bianca Bradford, Meta’s director and head of agency North America, spoke at the event. Wendy’s discussed its March activation on Meta Horizon Worlds, the virtual reality app.

Meanwhile, Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s chief operating officer, made an appearance in a promotional video. Sandberg had a message for advertisers, focusing on “brand” goals, which could be a small departure for the social media platforms, because marketers are typically performance driven on Facebook. NewFronts, however, are when platforms want to capture those broader marketers—who often spend heavily on TV—that don’t just need to drive clicks online. Brands are “using video to drive brand outcomes across our platforms,” Sandberg said.

What to watch tomorrow

Day four will include presentations from fuboTV, Canela Media and Vevo. To see when and where all NewFronts events will take place, bookmark Ad Age's calendar.