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Warner Bros. Discovery Touts IP, Advertising Offerings at Upfront

Warner Bros. Discovery Touts IP, Advertising Offerings at Upfront

Warner Bros. Discovery showcased its annual Upfront presentation May 15 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, spotlighting its selection of advertising offerings across premium entertainment, theatrical, sports, news and lifestyle brands on streaming, digital and linear platforms.

Warner Bros. Discovery leadership shared advanced advertising and measurement solutions, new ad formats, data-driven linear and efficiencies across the portfolio that allow for optimized reach for brands.  

Touting the theme “Make It Happen Here,” the presentation emphasized WBD’s unique position to advertisers and introduced “One WBD,” a system that extends point of contact throughout the organization including streaming, theatrical and U.S. networks, as well as licensing and franchise teams, to deliver end-to-end partnerships for clients throughout the marketing cycle.  

New ad formats coming to Max in Q4 2024 include:  

  • Shoppable Content: WBD shoppable ads provide a seamless and integrated shopping experience on Max that enables viewers to explore featured products during the show and find more ways to purchase. 
  • Advanced Contextual Targeting: WBD contextual ads tailor advertiser messages to match the emotional tone of specific content moments, all while ensuring brand suitability. The contextual ad format provides the ability to target at the ad break, identifying the ideal moment that will enhance the relevance of each brand within the episode.  
  • Interactive Video: WBD’s interactive video formats allow for viewer control while injecting utility and engagement into commercial breaks.

 

Interactive ad formats include: 

  • Click-to-Contact: Viewers can actively engage with a brand and choose to receive more information about offers or sweepstakes, as well as facilitate direct conversations. Through a simple remote click, consumers can receive an email directly in their inbox, allowing for ultimate ease.  
  • Trivia and Polls: Interactive brand-relevant trivia and poll ads engage viewers and enhance interaction. Future innovations will integrate show IP into these formats to deepen the connection with the content.
  • Viewer’s Choice: This format empowers viewers to select the ad that best matches their interests, boosting engagement and creating a tailored, more enjoyable ad experience.  

 

The company also announced the launch of Olli, its proprietary first-party data platform powering advanced advertising solutions for partners. By fusing data, audience intelligence and ad tech solutions, Olli allows for seamless campaign planning, activation and measurement across WBD’s entire portfolio of premium content and brands, according to the company.  

Olli powers WBD’s Data-Driven Video offering, which can identify one audience across all endpoints. Enhanced by VideoAmp, Data-Driven Video allows clients to exclude heavy linear TV viewers early in the planning process, and then redistribute the focus to balance the target audience across WBD’s linear and digital platforms to ensure optimized reach and frequency, according to the company. Additional efficiencies include in-flight optimizations that would further reduce unneeded exposures across the target audience.

WBD is currently partnering with OMG, RPA and Wayfair, among others, on providing Data-Driven Video solutions. IPG Mediabrands will begin testing in the third quarter of this year.  

With Olli, WBD announced it can enhance the following pillars throughout a client’s media strategy: 

  1. Data and Identity: Olli’s comprehensive audience graph, derived from direct consumer relationships from more than 100 million households and 700 million devices across the United States, offers in-depth insights into user behaviors and preferences. This enables more effective audience identification. Leveraging first-party data from active users, Olli constructs detailed audience profiles, ensuring precise first-party targeting and enhanced campaign performance. 
  2. Activation and Automation: Olli streamlines WBD ad tech processes with unified planning across the portfolio, integrating marketer data with WBD’s first-party audience library, delivering targeting fidelity and campaign relevance with increased speed to market and cost efficiency. Leveraging Data Clean Room solutions from Snowflake, Olli enhances privacy compliance and data security for the digital advertising environment.
  3. Insights and Measurement: Olli arms WBD with ad analytics and measurement strategies designed to prove efficacy and attribution throughout the consumer journey. With planned fully integrated measurement partners such as ABCS Insights and LoopMe, Olli provides insight and measurement that is more accurate and actionable for partners than ever before. 

 

“Warner Bros. Discovery is second to none in the marketplace when it comes to our iconic content offerings and IP, with the unique ability to move culture and influence consumer behavior around travel, shopping, dining and more of life’s important moments,” said Jon Steinlauf, chief U.S. advertising sales officer. “Coupled with our innovative ad products and creative solutions across our diverse platforms, we’re able to provide targeted reach and scale that delivers maximum impact for our partners with measurable results.” 

Leadership touted several metrics during the presentation, including:  

  • Max ranked No. 1 in quality, value and variety as well as overall satisfaction among consumers;
  • the Max ad-supported tier averages less than four minutes of ads per hour;
  • the Max ad-supported tier subscriber base doubled in the past two years;
  • Warner Bros. Discovery dominates the 71 million home pay TV landscape where net worth is 67% higher than in homes without pay TV;
  • Warner Bros. Discovery is home to the top five networks in primetime cable in Q1 2024, TBS, Food Network, TLC, Adult Swim and HGTV;
  • Warner Bros. Discovery has delivered more than a 40 share in primetime among adults 18-49 on 32 nights in 2024;
  • Warner Bros. Discovery content is seen by 85% of all adults in the United States on a monthly basis;
  • Warner Bros. Discovery delivered nine of the top 10 new unscripted shows on cable in 2023;
  • CNN Digital reaches over 100 million Americans every month;
  • TNT Sports reaches more than 150 million fans across linear and digital platforms; and
  • Bleacher Report and House of Highlights account for more than 227 million followers on social and 73% of the audience is under 34 years old.   

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