Upfront Presentations Are Fewer, But Still Need TV Hype

Upfront presentation fatigue has finally hit the digital media space. Will media-buying executives get any real relief?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has decide to cut its NewFront presentations  in half — from 35 to 17. Big-name digital media brands -- some are more video-centric than others -- will remain.

This list includes DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Verizon’s Oath group (which include AOL and Yahoo), BBC, The New York Times, Meredith, Condé Nast, Fusion Media Group and Group Nine Media.

Over the past few years, TV networks have also trimmed back -- eliminating glitzy presentations and/or cutting back on too-long presentations. NBCUniversal has been consolidating its dozen or so broadcast and cable networks into a relatively short two-hour presentation.

Not everyone approves of these efforts.



Critics believe some of these mash-ups give short-shrift to individual networks. Others say smaller agency-by-agency meetings work better; the networks would say it saves money.

Would more sober meetings for digital video ad-supported platforms work as well?

Hovering over this is a heighten concerned over brand safety and transparency issues for advertisers. Many analysts say this made for some major shifts of digital video advertising dollars back to traditional TV networks.

While the IAB is cutting back, that’s not the whole story. It will offer up a road tour of sorts -- going to Los Angeles with some presentations. Separate from the NewFront banner effort, these moves don’t preclude other digital video platforms doing their own upfront thing.

Upfront presentations leading to upfront deal-making -- buying media on a yearlong basis -- will only get tougher and more complex.

The question is whether eliminating many of these presentations -- in favor of more data-based, ROI-themed smaller meetings for advertising executives  -- is an efficient use of time.  

Yet, media executives still want to be wowed and emotionally connected to whatever media-buying decisions they make -- all so customers will feel the same way about their advertising.

4 comments about "Upfront Presentations Are Fewer, But Still Need TV Hype".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 5, 2018 at 9:32 a.m.

    I can't speak for the digital presentations but the TV upfront galas were part of what made national TV time buying "fun" for many  ad and media execs. Of course these shows were costly and they had very little to do with the actual negotiations---except when a particular new show or scheduling ploy met with disfavor---sometimes causing the network to rethink its strategy. But "fun" is always part of the appeal of "big time" TV and still is. It allows those at the advertisers and agencies who are involved to go behind the scenes and get an "inside" look at what is going on, sometimes hobnobbing with celebrities and big shots, not just grinding ratings and CPMs like accountants. I hope that the sellers don't overdo their upfront show cost cutting and make it all a numbers game. That could be a mistake.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, February 5, 2018 at 7:57 p.m.

    "Those were the days, my friend. We'd thought they'd never end" Too obvious ?

  3. Steve Schiedermayer from Schiedermayer & Associates, Inc., February 6, 2018 at 2:26 p.m.

    Lots of people "checked out" on the NFL this year, so no surprise that viewership (as is attendance) lower. It's now one of the most polarizing brands, largely due to the flag protests. I know this isn't pleasing news to many in the media industry

  4. Steve Schiedermayer from Schiedermayer & Associates, Inc. replied, February 6, 2018 at 2:38 p.m.

    Sorry - non-sequitur - intended for the lower Super Bowl #'s!

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