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The Advertising Club, Vertical Series: Entertainment

The Advertising Club, Vertical Series: Entertainment

Earlier this month the Ad Club of New York hosted a panel discussion as part of their Verticals Series platform; the subject was Entertainment & Technology. Elizabeth Brady, VP US Field Sales at Verizon Media, moderated the panel, which included: 

Dennis Camlek: EVP Strategy & Consumer Marketing at National Geographic

Andy Hunter: VP of Marketing at Roku

Paolo Provinciali: Head of U.S. Media at Anheuser-Busch InBev

Erin McPherson: Head of Content at Verizon.

The panel discussed how these industry leaders find and measure OTT impact in a world of evolving viewing experiences. 

According to a statistic provided by Roku, 65% of all content consumed by an individual is likely video. It’s crucial that brands take this into consideration when developing their go-to-market strategy and we’re seeing implementation more frequently. As an example, National Geographic decided to pivot from what they’ve always been known for – inexpensive, non-scripted shows – which did well for them, but they wanted to start producing premium-content programs that better represents the Nat Geo brand. This sparked the “2.0 strategy” the company launched a few years ago -- high-end productions, working with bigger and better filmmakers, etc. Video is now a significant part of what the brand creates and makes up 70% of the content in their media buy. 

Another key component of video from a media standpoint is integration. Erin McPherson explains how this is shaping the way her group at Verizon is using video, “It’s interesting because in my past role at Yahoo I did a lot of selling to various brands in and around our original content. Now at Verizon, my group buys the video for Verizon. We work very closely with our Marketing group around advertising. What I think is fascinating is the theme emerging around coming together. Whether it’s the digital or the linear group at agencies or the buyers. That’s what we’re doing at Verizon - we are coming together. We sponsor the NFL, we sponsor several clubs in association with the NFL, we have video storytelling reports during the Super Bowl, we launched our new ad campaign and had our first responders docuseries. It’s a lot of video content. My group also acquired the NFL live games streaming service. So that’s where we can really start an integrated experience. Not just align with the NFL as a sponsor, but actually serve consumers mobile, live football games. And that’s where as a distributor we can start to comingle and integrate those experiences. So yes, video is at the center of a lot of what we do”.

In a multichannel world, video use by brands has greatly impacted the user experience. National Geographic has begun to analyze how every type of video engages with viewers. For example – when promoting an original film or TV series, the channel creates trailers.  But data provided the tech firms Nat Geo works with show that a typical broadcast trailer is much less effective on digital channels. They needed to completely strip down the traditional trailer structure to keep engagement high and grab viewers in the first five seconds.

Live entertainment remains a huge opportunity to aggregate an audience to aggregate around content. When advertising is live, brands need to integrate with the entertainment content and not interrupt it. 

The subject of the impact of 5G technology on the advertiser experience was also discussed. With 5G, it is estimated that it may only takes seconds to download a 90-minute movie. Verizon has made 5G a priority because of its potential for massive change in business, consumer, live experience and other platforms.

On the subject of an integrated brand experience, National Geographic maintains a master strategy to make sure that all platforms/channels are delivering against the central brand mission. Dennis Camlek said, “We always think about this from a consumer perspective.  The challenge is we are trying to drive towards the linear experience since we are a cable network and more and more people are not watching live – they are watching delayed, either on a streaming service, On Demand, or other service.” The company wants live and delayed viewers, across all devices and platforms, to have a seamless content experience.

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