Welcome to Ad Age’s NewFronts 2023 newsletter. We’ll be sharing a daily roundup of events, interviews and sessions from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s dog-and-pony show throughout the week. You can find all of Ad Age’s NewFronts coverage here.
YouTube’s got shorts
Shorts, YouTube’s answer to TikTok content, took center stage at the Google-owned platform’s presentation yesterday, Ad Age Chief Technology Reporter Garett Sloane writes. YouTube released new ad products for Shorts, including bringing Select to the format, which will allow brands to appear only next to a curated grouping of popular Shorts videos. There’s also a new ad format that allows advertisers to buy the top placement when a user opens the Shorts feed.
Next phase of ‘Thursday Night Football’
Amazon is bringing ad targeting to “Thursday Night Football,” giving advertisers what they have been asking for—the ability to target viewers with specific creative during NFL games. Now advertisers will be able to run “audience-based creative” using Amazon insights to serve different creative to different viewers in the same ad break, Sloane writes.
Check out our NewFronts blog here
The e-commerce giant also used its NewFront to prove it can track shopping outside of its walls, Sloane noted. Amazon presented a case study with Tostitos and Omnicom Media Group that took the brand from commercials in Freevee, its ad-supported streaming platform, to QR codes on Fire TV, to “shoppable recipes” on Amazon Live. Amazon used the campaign as a test for what it’s now calling “One Amazon” packages for upfront buyers. Tostitos made the bespoke integration, starting with commercials in the show “America’s Test Kitchen: The New Generation.” Tostitos learned that half of the sales the campaign generated on Amazon’s store came from new buyers and that 90% of all the sales happened outside Amazon.
Read more about Amazon’s NewFront here
Branded content powered by data
Vizio is the latest company to launch a branded content studio. The TV maker will use its viewership data to help generate a slate of branded programming, Ad Age’s Parker Herren writes.
Vizio’s first series was “3 Pointers,” a sports-themed cooking and entertaining short-form series featuring “Man Vs. Food” host Casey Webb and sponsored by BetMGM. Upcoming series the CTV platform is taking to market include “Clean Break,” tapping into the TikTok-born organization trend; “Island Eats,” a Caribbean-set food and travel series; “City Limits,” which explores fun activities on the outskirts of major cities; and “From the Ground Up,” a showcase for business entrepreneurs.
“With a data-informed understanding of what our viewers are interested in, VBCS is uniquely positioned to offer a solution that few others can: a custom, exclusive branded content series that brings brands into the story and entertainment that consumers want to watch,” said Steve DeMain, VP of branded content and sponsorships at Vizio, in a statement.
What would AI do at NewFronts?
Ad Age had some fun with Sanpchat’s new AI product, My AI, asking the tech questions about the NewFronts and how it would go about producing a compelling presentation. Herren “interviews” My AI, who reveals the best clothes to wear to the dog-and-pony shows and visualizes a NewFront where advertisers crawl through a ball pit.
Tubi gets its message across
While Tubi, the Fox-owned streaming service, is sitting out of the NewFronts this year, it still found a way to get into the conversation. The platform, which grabbed attention with its Super Bowl ads, is back with three amusing, satirical short films about the advertising business itself.
Lorne Michaels of advertising
“David Cohen is Lorne Michaels in my brain,” Liza Koshy, the popular YouTube star with plenty of acting credit to her name joked about the IAB’s CEO when she kicked off YouTube’s NewFront presentation yesterday. Koshy, who has aspirations of hosting “Saturday Night Live,” use the presentation to manifest a gig on the comedy sketch show. She came prepared with material, at one point asking about the need for the NewFronts: “They still have” those, Koshy quipped. “I don’t know why I have to sell anyone on the clear success of YouTube.”