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.