GroupM's Schiekofer: Streaming Innovations Include Co-Producing Client Content With Platforms

While the limited advertising inventories available within streaming are a frequent topic of marketer complaints, GroupM is finding streaming services to be extremely fertile ground for innovation, according to the agency’s Chief Digital Investment Officer, Susan Schiekofer.

“Streaming platforms allow for so much” innovation, she said during Tuesday’s NewFronts, in a Q&A with IAB Media Center Vice President Eric John. “Everything we’ve dreamed of is now scaling across streaming platforms.”

For example, with a couple of clients, GroupM is working on virtual product placement in streaming TV shows — and finding it a “fairly turnkey process,” she reported.

“There’s so much content” and the scenario is so “fluid” that in some cases, “we’re producing content together” with the services, Schiekofer added.



And after years of waiting, “we’re able to work with shoppable units in a big way,” she said. “And also voice activation — for instance, seeing an ad with an offer and asking Alexa to send you the offer" by email or text.

Asked about GroupM’s overall digital priorities in the year ahead, Schiekofer cited continued innovation in streaming, in particular  using augmented reality to integrate clients’ products in shows, perhaps to allow for sponsoring already produced content.

She also noted the importance of changing media practices to reflect the reality that marketers’ traditional definition of “premium” content as meaning high production-value, long-form content is out of date. For younger generations, in particular, “premium” content may be user- or creator-generated short-form videos on social, she noted.

Schiekofer also stressed the agency’s commitment to “better embracing media partners who are writing and producing for multicultural consumers” this year and beyond. 

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