Peacock, NBCU’s direct-to-consumer streaming service, has provided an opportunity to re-set the advertising experience for U.S. audiences, according to Laura Molen, President, Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal. “We worked with our launch partners to build a pristine advertising environment that we believe is the future of advertising, because consumers will lean into advertising when it is done right,” she told an audience at The Future of TV Advertising U.S. in June. One of those launch partners was L’Oreal USA and Shenan Reed, SVP and Head of Media at the beauty products giant, shares the vision of upgrading the advertising UX, and believes streaming is a great place to innovate.
“I’m looking to create a unique consumer experience where consumers believe that the value exchange, where they see advertising in return for content, is worth it. Without that they will opt-out of advertising [by paying for ad-free environments.]. Working with partners, there is lots of opportunity to reinvent what the advertising product looks like.”
She cited a practical example: less advertising once it becomes clear that the viewer is embarking on a binge-viewing session. Indulge that, she advised media owners. “Advertising, when it is done well, is a service to the consumer and if we don’t provide that service, people will not participate in our advertising, and none of us want that.”
Reed needs frequency capping so viewers do not get a negative view of the brand because they are inundated with their ads – and NBCU is delivering on that wish, at least on its own media assets. Molen said: “That was a big thing. We heard back from consumers as well as marketers, who were saying that if we watch lots of streaming, we are seeing the same commercial over and over. We built frequency capping to make sure viewers experience different ads.”
Both these executives are big fans of the pause ad, now available on Peacock, with Molen calling it a “big and beautiful ad for marketers” and Reed embracing the opportunity it presents “for beautiful brands with beautiful stories to tell.” The L’Oreal marketer said: “You literally have a billboard inside someone’s home – a big, beautiful canvas.”
NBCU has brought another ad innovation to market in the streaming environment, called Spotlight. With this, a buyer gets their ad inserted as the first commercial in the first standard ad break for every viewer on the streaming service, regardless of what they are watching (so including virtual linear channels and long-form VOD). Spotlight is only available for primetime. This is an attempt to bring the fast reach build of linear TV into the streaming environment as audiences grow.
You can find out more about The Future of TV Advertising U.S., and link to the video recordings of the event, here.