Vizio Appoints Former AMC Networks, Dish Exec VP of Network Partnerships

Consumer electronics company Vizio has appointed former AMC Networks and Dish executive Adam Gaynor VP of network partnerships.

In this role, Gaynor will help build direct relationships with networks across Vizio’s SmartCast platform and its advertiser-direct business unit Vizio Ads.

“Adam’s addition to the team represents Vizio’s continued focus and investment in driving the future of TV,” Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer at Vizio, said in a statement. “Not only does Adam have extensive experience working with networks, but he has been at the forefront of championing addressable advertising, going back to his previous efforts driving live linear addressable advertising at AMC Networks and Dish.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In addition to spearheading network relationships, Gaynor will be heavily involved in advancing Project Open Addressable Ready (Project OAR), a technology consortium led by Vizio and created to advance the development and deployment of a new, open standard for addressable advertising on connected TVs. The consortium recently announced live market trials with network partners such as Fox, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, E.W. Scripps and AMC Networks.

Follow us on Instagram

“Vizio is building the next generation of home entertainment, powered by data and personalized consumer experiences,” Gaynor said in a statement. “I’m excited to join the team to advance VIZIO’s initiatives on the network and addressable front, enabling advertisers to deliver more precise messages to their intended audiences at the right time.”

Before joining Vizio, Gaynor was most recently VP of AMCN Agility, the data solutions sales team for AMC Networks. There, he created and oversaw the development and monetization of all advanced and data-driven TV advertising opportunities across the AMC Networks portfolio. He also served as VP, media sales and analytics for Dish Network, where he led the company’s media sales division, inclusive of all addressable, interactive, programmatic and OTT initiatives. Gaynor also held posts at Game Show Network, Comcast and CBS.

Hulu Launches Ad-Assist Program for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

Hulu has launched the Creative Partner Program to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in creating advertising on the service.

The program offers access to “creative partners who are specially trained in Hulu best practices, and have expertise creating unique, non-templated ads for smaller businesses at all stages of the advertising creative process,” according to Faye Trapani, director of self-service platform sales.

The Creative Partner Program currently consists of four partners: GeneroShuttlerockQuickFrame and VidMob.

The service helps smaller businesses to design a program “whether an advertiser is repurposing an existing video for streaming TV or ‘baking from scratch,’” according to Trapani.

The Creative Partner Program offers a range of production options and price points.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

ViacomCBS Announces Fall Launch of EyeQ Ad Platform

ViacomCBS announced the planned fall 2020 launch of ViacomCBS EyeQ, a connected video advertising platform that will serve as a single transactional point of entry for digital video content from the company’s portfolio of broadcast, entertainment, news and sports networks, according to the company.

EyeQ will bring together all of the company’s connected video assets — including BET, CBS Television Network, CBS All Access, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pluto TV and VH1 — allowing advertisers to access a viewing audience that measures 50 million full-episode monthly unique viewers in the United States, and 150 million across all content and all devices, according to the company.

“The launch of EyeQ marks the arrival of one of the biggest premium video platforms in digital media,” John Halley, chief operating officer of advertising revenue at ViacomCBS, said in a statement. “In unifying the operating backend and go-to-market of three large pre-existing players — CBS Interactive, Pluto TV, and Viacom Video — we have consolidated a massive audience footprint that will deliver quality, scale, and capabilities that cannot be matched.”

“EyeQ is game changing,” David Lawenda, EVP of digital sales and strategy at ViacomCBS, said in a statement. “It is a portal into 50 million highly engaged, full-episode viewers watching our content each month, with 80% of the consumption happening on TV glass. And ViacomCBS can now offer unified buying and frequency control across all of that scale, which is aligned to the needs of an advertising marketplace that is increasingly focused on incremental reach.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

EyeQ will simplify transactions and reporting across the company’s digital offering and will support a variety of transactional models depending on advertiser preference, including programmatic guaranteed and private marketplace. It will offer multiple lanes of activation, including:

  • content segments, allowing advertisers to verticalize spend under scaled content categories;
  • broad demos, allowing advertisers to maximize reach across all viewership and platforms;
  • strategic segments, allowing advertisers to leverage syndicated behavioral sets or custom audiences through ad platform Vantage; and
  • creative, allowing advertisers to customize immersive brand experiences for greater impact through integrations, custom creative, influencers, and live experiences.

Follow us on Instagram

EyeQ will also introduce a new reporting infrastructure to provide real-time data and tactical campaign guidance for advertisers to track spending across platforms, according to the company. Additionally, EyeQ will offer a range of solutions to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, including ad quality metrics, brand lift, attribution and social sentiment.

Roku Partners With Kroger for Shopper Data Program

Roku June 8 announced the launch of a new shopper data program to make online TV advertising more precise and measurable for CPG (consumer packaged goods) marketers. Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, plans to join the program as the launch partner to build first-to-market targeting and attribution tools for streaming TV.

With more than 40 million registered users in the United States and 13.2 billion hours streamed during Q1 2020, streaming video pioneer Roku is looking to expand its media reach into TV advertising. Los Gatos, Calif.-based Roku’s ad-supported branded AVOD channel boasted 56 million viewers in 2019.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Completion of the integration will give marketers access to Kroger data to measure ad campaign performance across the Roku platform, as well as tools from Roku to measure the effectiveness of linear TV built on what it claims is the largest licensed TV operating system in North America.

With the economy hit hard by shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, CPG marketers are seeking advanced data solutions to make TV advertising more relevant and performance-driven.

Targeted advertising can increase effectiveness and minimize ad waste while achieving the scale CPG marketers require, according to Roku. For instance, Kroger could help marketers segment messages to high-volume category buyers, customers who occasionally buy a category, or those who buy a complementary category.

Follow us on Instagram

The new shopper data program will provide Kroger sales information to help marketers make smarter media buying decisions. Marketers will be able to use the program to activate advertising across hundreds of ad-supported channels on America’s No.1 streaming platform (by hours streamed according to Kantar) and to tie ad exposure directly to in-store and online sales.

Kroger compiles consumer data from 60 million households across nearly 2,800 Kroger stores. With streaming TV (and AVOD) accelerating, Kroger said sought a market leader in OTT to bring accurate identity and viewing data founded in a direct consumer relationship.

“TV streaming brings digital-like precision to the big screen,” Cara Pratt, VP of commercial and product strategy, Kroger precision marketing, said in a statement.

“We believe that all TV ads will be targeted and measurable,” added Alison Levin, VP of ad sales and strategy, Roku. “Our new shopper data program will make it easier and more effective for CPG advertisers to shift spend to streaming and focus on value for every ad dollar spent.”

WarnerMedia Absorbs Xandr Ad Platform

AT&T continues to rejigger its media operations, combining WarnerMedia and ad platform Xandr for what the telecom claims will be a better advertising value proposition for brands, publishers and consumers. Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia and president of WarnerMedia International, will oversee all advertising responsibilities across AT&T.

The merger was foreshadowed last month when Brian Lesser, CEO of Xandr, abruptly resigned, creating some uncertainty about the future the advertising unit.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

​Kirk McDonald, chief business officer of Xandr will continue to lead the unit, reporting directly to Zeiler. The merged goal is to accelerate new advertising formats by 2021 for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s high-profile subscription streaming video service launching this month. ​

“Now more than ever, we need to simplify advertising and further our marketplace capabilities for our customers,” Zeiler said in a statement.

As the lines between TV and digital video continue to converge, Xandr’s platform aims to make it easier for ad buyers/sellers to find audiences across multiple distribution screens.

Follow us on Instagram

“This is done through one holistic conversation that spans premium content and trusted environments, alongside proven and advanced ad capabilities,” Zeiler said.

HBO Max Releases New Spot for Service

A new spot released April 22 kicked off the brand marketing campaign for WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max. The campaign centers on the tagline “Where HBO Meets So Much More.”

HBO Max launches May 27 with 10,000 hours of programming, including the entire HBO service, titles from Warner Bros. and a monthly offering of new Max Originals.

The spot “aims to call attention to the connective tissue that runs through all of the iconic programming and characters who will call the new streamer home,” according to the service. Marketing plans intend to “show how HBO Max is not just more of HBO, but more than HBO,” according to the press release.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“HBO is the gold standard in terms of premium original content, and we are going to market on the strength of that brand and the power of the library,” said Chris Spadaccini, chief marketing officer, WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-to-Consumer. “But HBO Max offers so much more than just HBO. We are establishing HBO Max as a place where all your favorite shows and movies intersect in unexpected ways. There’s a really fun attitude and personality to the campaign and each one of our ads has an element of surprise and delight.”

Pluto TV Bows New Features, Marketing Campaign

ViacomCBS-owned AVOD service Pluto TV March 2 announced the rollout of a new features and the company’s largest ever consumer marketing campaign with the tagline: “Drop In. It’s Free.”

The product upgrade, Project Venetia, delivers new features and design changes.

“Today marks another major step for Pluto TV in its mission to entertain the planet,” Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, said in a statement. “Project Venetia makes it even easier for viewers to find and enjoy their favorite streaming TV programming. And with our new brand campaign, we’re communicating the core value proposition of Pluto TV and inviting everyone to visit a bold new world of television. As our new tagline promises, you can drop in anytime and start watching hundreds of channels on any device, all for free.”

The “Drop In” campaign, launched March 2, features a 30-second commercial on late-nite programming, an out-of-home campaign in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis and Houston, connected-TV and streaming-audio takeovers, digital and social activations, and in-theater advertising.

The parallel development of a new interface design and brand campaign includes a new logo. The new identity is rolling out across platform, on-air and marketing touchpoints over the coming weeks.

Follow us on Instagram

Project Venetia is currently live on Apple, Vizio, and Roku devices with staged releases across other devices, including Android and Amazon Fire TV, and more features rolling out over the coming months.  Newly launched features include new linear and improved on-demand user experience designs featuring categories of content, the ability to put favorite channels at the top of the guide, a watch list, and a “Watch Now” button that pops up when a desired title is available.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Pluto TV has more than 22 million monthly viewers in the United States, and offers more than 250 channels of live, linear, lean-back programming and thousands of on-demand titles streaming on all major mobile, web and connected TV devices.  Pluto TV is also live in territories throughout Europe, with Latin America launching at the end of March.

Pluto TV. Drop in. It’s free. Full 30 from Pluto TV on Vimeo.

Pluto TV. Drop in. It’s Free. Couch from Pluto TV on Vimeo.

Pluto TV. Drop in. It’s free. Woman from Pluto TV on Vimeo.

Pluto TV: Drop in. It’s free. Security from Pluto TV on Vimeo.

 

Disney Stops Running Netflix Ads on its Networks

The streaming video wars are heating up.

With Disney set to launch a branded $6.99 subscription streaming video service (Disney+) on Nov. 12, it has reportedly begun circling the wagons around its media brands — denying Netflix ads from airing on select entertainment networks.

Netflix, in a shrewd marketing move, had apparently upped running ad-spots specifically on Disney networks.

Impacted properties include ABC (notably the Oscars), FX, Freedom and National Geographic. Disney will still accept Netflix advertising on ESPN since the SVOD pioneer does not stream live sports.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In a statement first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Disney said that as the “direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio networks … [it has] “reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”

While rival media/tech companies also ready proprietary streaming services, it is unknown if their marketing has been impacted by Disney’s move.

But then they aren’t Netflix, which with more than 150 million subscribers worldwide, dominates the SVOD ecosystem.

In 2017, Disney began pulling back original movies (i.e. Star Wars, Pixar) and select Marvel programming from Netflix as it began assembling Disney+. The move was noteworthy considering the two companies in 2015 inked a landmark distribution deal making Netflix the exclusive pay-TV distributor for Disney movies.

In a related move, Disney CEO Bob Iger removed himself from the board of Apple as the tech giant readies a reboot of its Apple TV platform to include subscription streaming video and original content.

 

Sling TV Launches Puppet ‘Slingy’ to Promote Service

OTT service Sling TV is introducing “Slingy,” a puppet star of its new digital ads.

The puppet is designed and created by Tim Clarke, one of the masterminds behind “The Muppets” puppet design, according to the service’s blog.

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!  

“Slingy is on a mission to let everyone know that Slinging is easy and anyone can do it — even a puppet!” reads the blog. “Slingy is passionate about educating live TV lovers who want to cut the cord and is even willing to show up at people’s homes and offices to tell them about Sling. After a visit from Slingy, consumers can’t help but get excited about the choice, flexibility and control that Sling TV offers without the baggage that comes with cable.”

Last year, Sling TV launched a tongue-in-cheek TV campaign featuring celebrity couple Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally as “slingers.”

Amy Poehler to Star in Comcast Xfinity Ad Campaign

Amy Poehler will star in a year-long Xfinity advertising campaign starting Feb. 4, Comcast announced.

The campaign featuring the actor, producer and director (“Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live,’ Inside Out and upcoming “Wine Country”) is called “Simple, Easy, Awesome – starring Amy Poehler” and uses her “unique sense of humor and wit to put a spotlight on the brand’s product benefits, across Xfinity Internet, Xfinity TV and Xfinity Mobile,” according to the Comcast release.

The two launch spots — “Potpourri” and “Make Yourself at Home” — will air across television, digital, mobile and radio.

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!

“Working with Amy has been a dream — her charm, charisma and relatability are a great fit for Xfinity and her improv skills really took our creative to another level,” said Eileen Diskin, SVP of marketing communications at Comcast, in a statement. “We’re proud to have her represent our brand and look forward to building upon our partnership with Amy throughout the year.”

“Simple, Easy, Awesome – starring Amy Poehler” brings to life the idea that you don’t have to be an expert to get the most out of technology, and the commercials put Poehler in real-life locations ranging from a family’s home to an Xfinity retail store, according to the release.

The campaign will include multiple TV spots to roll out in the coming months.

In addition to the creative content, the Comcast partnership with Poehler includes product integration into the company’s Xfinity X1 platform. Customers can say things such as “Amy is Awesome” and “Everything Amy Poehler” into the X1 voice remote and they will be taken to a special page with a curated collection of Poehler’s movies, shows, talk show appearances and more, and also will be able to unlock special voice messages from Poehler.

Xfinity has more than 30 million customer relationships across the country, according to the release, and the X1 platform includes Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video with the voice remote processing more than 700 million commands each month.