Paramount+ Running Ads During Jan. 14 NFL Wild Card Game, Super Bowl

There will be two new ads from Paramount+ airing during upcoming NFL games — one debuting during the NFL on CBS Wild Card Game Jan. 14 and one during Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.

The two ads will continue the “A Mountain of Entertainment” brand campaign, now in its fourth year, demonstrating the breadth of Paramount+ content.

The first new ad, the 14th installment in the “A Mountain of Entertainment” series, airs during the Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills game on Jan. 14. It features Decepticon Scourge from Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (voiced by Peter Dinklage) attempting to face off against Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen, joined by a mix of characters from across Paramount+ titles and properties including Dora (“Dora the Explorer”) and Peppa Pig (“Peppa Pig”) as NFL on CBS announcers Tracy Wolfson, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo commentate on Scourge’s failed offense attempts. The ad is created by agency partner Droga5 and brings together a humorous mismatch of legacy characters, star athletes and iconic announcers, leveraging Paramount+’s franchises, characters and talent.

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More information on the Super Bowl ad will be available at a later date. Paramount+ will be streaming Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.

Paramount+’s “A Mountain of Entertainment” campaign spots have received more than 26 awards and recognitions from the Clio Awards, Art Directors Guild Awards, Shorty Awards, One Show, New York Festivals Advertising Awards, Promax Global Excellence Awards, Webbys, NY Addys, Digiday Awards and more.

MediaRadar: Streaming Video Ad Spending Dropped 8% in 2023

Marketing spending for advertising on six select U.S. subscription and ad-supported video streaming platforms not named Netflix, Disney+ and Tubi dropped a collective 8% to $1 billion through October 2023 from $1.2 billion in 2022, according to new data from MediaRadar.

The New York-based research company found that the combined ad spend on Discovery+, Hulu, Max, Paramount+, Peacock, and Pluto TV from the retail, finance, and tech sectors dropped 30% to $293 million through October from $418.5 million through the same period last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The insurance category cut ad spending by 74%, while Target and Walmart collectively reduced their streaming video ad spend by 17%, including upwards of 14% on Hulu and Pluto TV. Finance ads accounted for about 10% of ad spending on Paramount+, according to MediaRadar.

Meanwhile, restaurants and pharmaceutical advertisers upped their AVOD spending, led by McDonalds, Subway and Wendy’s. Pharmaceuticals upped their collective ad spending 66%, led by AbbVie, GSK, and Pfizer on cold and flu medicines.

The report does not include Disney+, Netflix and Tubi, with the former two having entered the ad-supported SVOD business model in the past year — with much fanfare. Tubi continues to be an ad-revenue driver, according to parent Fox Corp. Fox credited Tubi with upping television ad revenue 5% to $910 million in the most-recent fiscal quarter.

“Tubi continues to drive impressive growth in viewing and advertising in an
increasingly crowded marketplace,” Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a Q1 statement.

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eMarketer: Connected TV Ad-Spend Increasing Due to Netflix, Prime Video, Max and Disney+

As consumers increase accessing the internet through their television, and related connected device, the time spent consuming content on CTVs is approaching parity with linear television.

New data from eMarketer found that time spent with connected TVs by U.S. adults will top 2 hours and 3 minutes (2:03) through 2024, compared with 2 hours and 48 minutes per day for linear TV.

Connected TV devices also include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xfinity Flex, Google Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, connected video game consoles and Blu-ray Disc players.

The report contends that as Netflix, Max, Peacock, Paramount+, Prime Video and Disney+ embrace ad-supported content, marketers should approach TV advertising with an expanded outlook, focusing on the targeted benefits CTV can have reaching niche consumers.

Specifically, eMarketer says marketers should consider attention metrics, or how long users spend watching skippable ads and collecting cognitive and emotional data to recognize the true impact of their ads.

Redbox, Crackle Connex Ink Deal With TikTok

Redbox and advertising platform Crackle Connex, both Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment companies, have announced they are now working with entertainment platform TikTok.

TikTok will provide Redbox with top content from the platform, which will be featured on more than 3,000 video screens on top of Redbox kiosks nationwide, and brands will have the opportunity to advertise alongside it.

“TikTok is the go-to destination for short-form video consumption by over a billion people globally,” Philippe Guelton, Crackle Connex chief revenue officer, said in a statement. “This new partnership provides advertisers a unique opportunity to reach new audiences and drive engagement. Our Redbox kiosks are in high-traffic locations where millions of people frequently shop, such as grocery stores or value retailers. We look forward to working with TikTok on expanding this partnership as our DOOH [digital out-of-home] network expands.”

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“People come to TikTok to experience the entertainment, joy, and creativity of our community and we are excited to expand that experience to Redbox kiosks,” Dan Page, TikTok head of global distribution, new screens, said in a statement. “This partnership allows us to bring together the power of our exceptional content with the high-visibility of Redbox kiosk locations, creating an effective and fresh approach to advertising.”

HelloFresh Sponsoring Hulu’s ‘Secret Chef’ Reality Cooking Show

Meal kit company HelloFresh has announced the sponsorship of Hulu’s reality cooking competition series “Secret Chef,” which premiered June 29.

With chef David Chang at the helm as executive producer, “Secret Chef” pits 10 contestants, ranging from professional chefs to self-taught home cooks, against one another in a series of blind tastings where they’re not only the cooks but also the judges. Isolated in a secret kitchen labyrinth connected by a series of conveyor belts, the contestants will compete in a variety of challenges and judge each other’s dishes anonymously. Serving as the grand prize sponsor, HelloFresh will be featured in each episode through brand visuals. HelloFresh meal kits will also be integrated directly into a challenge during the series’ fourth episode.

HelloFresh is also giving its customers a chance to experience a show-stopping dish created in the episode — a One-Pot Spicy Shrimp Soup from chef Joshua Walbolt. The Secret Chef HelloFresh challenge tasks the contestants with recreating a classic dish (i.e. burgers and fries, spaghetti and meatballs, chili, etc.) using pre-portioned ingredients from an existing HelloFresh meal kit. Chef Joshua prevailed with a spin on a classic chili recipe. HelloFresh customers can look to add this recipe to their weekly orders for delivery during the weeks of July 8 and July 15.

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“As consumers continue to have a strong appetite for food programming, we are excited to partner with Hulu’s Secret Chef to connect with a wide audience that is passionate about cooking and food-centric content,” Marcus von Franck, CMO and SVP of marketing for HelloFresh U.S., said in a statement. “Consumers who tune into ‘Secret Chef’ will see first-hand how cooking with HelloFresh meal kits can inspire creativity in the kitchen. We’re excited to bring Chef Joshua’s dish to our customers so they can experience the unique flavors in their own kitchens.”

The sponsorship also includes digital marketing content. “Secret Chef” viewers will also be offered 17 free HelloFresh meals, plus free shipping, with code: 17SECRETCHEF.

Study: CTV Advertising Fraud Surged in 2022

CTV advertising fraud surged in 2022 with a 69% increase in bot fraud from 2021 and significant growth in CTV fraud schemes, according to new research from DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics.

The 2023 Global Insights Report analyzed trends from nearly 5.5 trillion media transactions across more than 1,000 customers in nearly 100 countries. 

Globally, eMarketer estimates that advertisers will spend almost $24 billion on CTV advertising this year, noted DoubleVerify, and as ad investments in CTV grow, so too does the opportunity for fraud. CTV ad fraud involves the use of deceptive tactics to generate revenue from advertisers by falsely inflating video ad impressions. Fraudsters typically employ bots or fake CTV devices to simulate viewership, tricking advertisers into paying for non-existent or unviewed ad placements.

The number of CTV fraud schemes and variants DV detected annually has tripled since 2020, according to the report.

Ad fraud is a significant issue in CTV especially for unprotected advertisers, according to DoubleVerify. To quantify the risk, the report compared protected advertisers’ fraud rates against a campaign where verification was not in place. The unprotected campaign experienced a fraud rate of 11.2%, compared with 0.6 percent for protected campaigns.

“An increase in free, ad-supported streaming is helping to fuel connected TV’s rapid growth,” Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify, said in a statement. “But with growth come growing pains. As CTV becomes a top channel for consumers and advertisers alike, it also becomes a target for fraud, making measurement and protection a critical part of validating the efficacy of campaigns.”

In addition to a review of fraud, viewability and brand suitability, this year’s report also looked at attention metrics. Launched in 2021, DV Authentic Attention measurement is an MRC accredited privacy-friendly solution that does not rely on cookies, and provides timely, impression-level insights at scale — from the impact of an ad’s presentation to key dimensions of consumer engagement, according to the company.

Key insights DoubleVerify uncovered include:

  • Campaigns in the most mature market, North America, lag behind in their ability to grab attention (based on DoubleVerify’s Attention Index), representing a real opportunity for improvement. For video, specifically, North America is behind all other regions in both attention and viewability. 
  • Most advertisers run campaigns on sites or apps that have lower attention rates; however, DoubleVerify’s analysis shows there is significant available inventory that could deliver higher attention and performance.

 

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“Qualifying an ad’s impact matters more than ever before and attention is fast becoming a key currency for evaluating performance,” added Zagorski. “Our metrics make attention actionable for brands. They can gain insights beyond whether their ad simply had an opportunity to be seen — they can start to understand if it resonated, while benchmarking across the industry.”

In addition to its findings on CTV fraud and attention, the report features new data on the ROI of verification and the need to ensure consistent quality assurance across all platforms, environments and formats. 

Netflix Touts New Ad Service With 5M Monthly Users at Upfronts Presentation

Netflix touted its new ad-supported service at the Upfronts in New York May 17.

Jeremi Gorman, president, worldwide advertising, noted “we are building a forever business” and that in the first six months “we worked hard to be brilliant at the basics, focusing on areas advertisers told us matter most — like geo, age, and gender targeting; third-party verification and deploying the right brand suitability mechanisms for [advertisers] to make the best decisions for [their] brand.”

“We treat our ads with the same care we treat our incredible content: serving them locally; seamlessly transitioning between shows and ads with no latency; and implementing industry-leading frequency caps with an ad load of four to five minutes per hour,” he added.

According to Nielsen, Netflix’s “reach at two or more hours is higher than almost everyone else’s reach at a one-minute threshold,” he said.

“Two hours compared to one minute,” he said. “That’s what sets Netflix apart from other streamers. It’s the difference between foundational viewing and simply sampling.” 

He said Netflix prefers to talk about metrics “like monthly active users,” adding that six months after launch, the ad-supported plan has nearly 5 million global monthly active users, with a median age of 34.

“Since early this year, our ads member base has more than doubled,” added co-CEO Greg Peters. “On average, more than a quarter of our signups now choose the ads plan in countries where it’s available. Seventy percent of our ad-supported members are between the ages of 18 and 49.” 

He noted that “engagement on our ads plan is similar to our comparable non-ads plans.” 

Peter Naylor, VP of global advertising sales, announced new product and measurement solutions for Netflix’s ad-supported plan, including the ability for brands “to connect with our audiences during some of the most watched and most relevant cultural moments of the year.” This includes two new sponsorship opportunities to give brands “the opportunity to be within the top streaming content anywhere,” he said.

Advertisers will be able to sponsor the presentation of some of the service’s most popular series on Netflix at launch. These opportunities will be available first in the United States, with other countries to follow. They will also be able to align themselves with collections on Netflix by featuring their campaigns within local holidays (e.g. Valentine’s Day) and key brand moments (e.g. Sustainability Stories).

In addition, brands will be able to run sponsorships at the start of an episode, showcasing their brand before an episode even begins.

Brands can align themselves with Netflix’s top 10, which guarantees brand placement within Netflix’s most popular shows and films, as part of its daily country top 10 series and the top 10 film collections. 

With Nielsen ONE Launch, starting in Q4, brands in the United States will be able to use Nielsen DAR (Digital Ad Ratings), which offers de-duplicated audience measurement metrics for campaigns running on the Netflix ad-supported plan. The tool will enable advertisers to quantify the unique reach of their campaign and deepen their understanding of Netflix’s audience, including by age and gender, according to Netflix.

Netflix has partnered with EDO, a TV outcomes measurement platform used to measure the immediate impact of ads across linear and streaming, which, according to Netflix, found that:

  • Netflix outperforms the streaming and linear averages when it comes to driving engagement; and
  • viewers are over four times more likely to engage with an ad on Netflix, compared to other streamers, and over four and a half times more likely than linear TV. 

 

Closing the Upfront, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO said, “Now you’ve heard a lot from us today, and I think it all boils down to one thing: Netflix is a little bit different. In the past — when consumers had very little choice of where to watch — it didn’t matter so much which network a show or film landed on. They were all very similar. Today, we believe that having a title land on Netflix makes all the difference in the world.”

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He added, “Netflix shows and movies are generating global audiences that are many times bigger than our closest competitors” and “the special relationship that fans have with Netflix programming is shaping culture in powerful and unexpected ways.”

Noting the service’s past revolutionary breakthroughs, Sarandos promised for “similar breakthroughs in advertising” that “can be just as impactful.”

Warner Bros. Discovery Announces WBD Stream Product Suite for Advertisers

Warner Bros. Discovery May 17 announced WBD Stream, a new, unified digital video offering available to advertisers in the 2023-24 Upfront.

The new destination for digital video offers advertisers access to content across Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio of sports, lifestyle, entertainment, news, including the websites and apps of top brands such as Bleacher Report, Food Network, TNT, Animal Planet, ID and HGTV.

WBD Stream allows advertisers to maximize reach while driving impact across multiple screens and devices, according to the company. Partners can activate direct and programmatic marketplace campaigns to align with content on mobile, desktop, and connected televisions, reaching 110 million adults each month, according to the company.

WBD Stream includes digital inventory from owned and operated sites and apps, as well as through third-party partnerships with the use of dynamic ad insertion. Advertisers can utilize audience targeting with the option to leverage their own data or select from Warner Bros. Discovery’s catalog of 140 audience segments. WBD Stream is sold separately from advertising for Max and Discovery+.

At launch, WBD Stream will run across all OTT modalities, including mobile web and apps (iOS and Android), desktop, Web and CTV apps.

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“WBD Stream represents a critical step forward in our journey to provide our advertising partners with simple, high-quality digital products that reach engaged and passionate audiences, wherever they choose to watch our content,” Jim Keller, EVP of digital ad sales and advanced advertising for Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement. “This offering pairs well for partners advertising across our premium streaming services Max and Discovery+ and extends advertisers’ incremental reach to connect with fervent fans who watch their favorite shows, series and sports, again and again.”

Study: Most SVOD Services to Introduce Ads in the Next Two Years

More than 76% of subscription streaming VOD services plan to add commercialized content by 2025, according to analysis released by data analytics company NPAW, which interviewed 250 online video business owners worldwide about their business models, advertising, and measurement practices and challenges.

As the global video streaming market continues to grow and become increasingly crowded, streaming businesses are looking for ways to maintain their growth and competitive edge.

Implementing a hybrid model (an ad-supported tier plus a premium, subscription-based one) is the preferred path for 59% of respondents — a move respondents said is aimed at lowering the price of subscriptions.

The survey data suggests ad-based video streaming models are on the rise because of their potential to increase platform revenues and reduce subscription prices, a win-win for streaming services and consumers in a time of economic uncertainty and market saturation. The data also underscores that the adoption of third-party video and advertising analytics in the industry is still fairly low, yet quickly increasing as providers recognize the strategic advantage of comprehensive real-time data.

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The report found that about half of streaming companies (47%) are already using a third-party video analytics tool to track platform performance and user behavior, while 39% plan to do so.

The report also found that 100% of ad-based video services plan to implement a third-party advertising analytics tool this year. Despite the still fairly low adoption levels of third-party ad analytics tools, all ad-based streaming companies currently not using one are planning to do so this year, with 34% saying they will implement one within months, while 44% saying they will deploy one by the end of 2023.

“It’s encouraging to see that more and more companies are taking a data-driven approach to running their video business, especially as the industry’s shift to ads brings a unique set of measurement challenges,” Till Sudworth, chief marketing officer of NPAW, said in a statement.

Netflix’s Ad-Supported SVOD Plan Reportedly Tops 1 Million Subscribers

After a slow start, Netflix’s lower-priced, ad-supported subscription streaming VOD plan is beginning to gain traction, reportedly topping 1 million subscribers since debuting on Nov. 3, 2022.

While Netflix executives have tempered expectations for the $6.99 month “Basic With Ads” subscription tier that includes upwards of five minutes of ads per hour of programming, the subscriber tally suggests consumers are warming to the option.

Netflix, which ended 2022 with more than 230 million global subscribers, is offering the ad-supported option in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Wall Street analysts believe the streamer could eventually attract upwards of 30 million ad-supported VOD subscribers — some driven to the option as Netflix cracks down on password sharing worldwide.

The new ad-supported subs tally, according to Bloomberg, which cited seeing internal data, was echoed by new co-CEO Greg Peters on last month’s fiscal call. Peters characterized consumer response as “solid,” adding that the price elasticity of demand (measurement of the change in consumption of a product in relation to a change in its price) remained promising.

“It’s better than we modeled, and that’s a great sort of fundamental starting point for us to work with,” Peters said. “I expect to see that continue to actually grow over the year.”

Notably, Peters said most of the ad-supported subs are not transitioning from the higher-priced plans, including the $15.49 standard and $19.99 premium plans. The ad-supported plans doesn’t offer the same access to content as the ad-free plans.

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Regardless, Peters remains upbeat on the initial the progress, which includes partnering with Microsoft to sell ads.

“These are all really good initial sort of progress points, but I think it’s important to reiterate that … we’re crawling and we’d like to get to sort of move to the walking phase [of functionality],” he said. “We’ve got a lot to do to get there.”

For Matt Spiegel, EVP of media and entertainment vertical at consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion, said Netflix’s ad-supported subscriber growth portends well for advertisers typically accustomed to legacy media networks upfronts showcasing content, talent and ad opportunities in the U.S.

“For being first-time entrants into the ad-supported streaming business, there’s nothing wrong with Netflix’s [sub growth] progress, and in a few years they might have a massively successful ad-tiered audience,” Spiegel said.

But to those expecting Netflix’s ad-supported SVOD tier to be an overnight home run, they may be disappointed, according to Spiegel.

“Netflix’s competition for material ad dollars isn’t against the other ad-supported platforms, it’s against the networks that have both linear TV and streaming assets like the Walt Disney Co. (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu), Fox Corporation (Tubi), Comcast (Peacock), etc.,” Spiegel said.