In January, just ahead of the introduction of new streaming service Peacock, NBCUniversal introduced its One Platform advertising initiative.
Created to streamline ad buys across all Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky platforms by uniting linear, digital and streaming ad inventory, the initiative provides marketers with tools to target key consumers. Bhatia, a veteran advanced ad man, was put in charge of ushering in this transformation.
“Industries that adapt to change fastest end up being in a leadership position,” he said. “So our call to action is for the agencies and advertisers to join us in that transformation and shed legacy from a measurement, planning and buying perspective [and] to follow where the audiences are going. That is ultimately what One Platform is intended to do.”
While plenty of time is spent “making the future feel less threatening” to marketers, Bhatia noted, so far they don’t seem too intimidated.
“There’s definitely a trend towards using data and technology to target and optimize media buys,” he explained.
To do just that, NBCU created AdSmart, a technology that unites client data with NBCU’s audience data to make sure marketers reach both linear and digital audiences.
“Two thirds of our Adsmart business is actually doing custom matches with advertisers’ CRM databases,” Bhatia said. “They are looking to find those at scale across our TV, digital and OTT properties. So we work with them to create these custom matches and create a segment that then dimensionilizes those audiences across all of our properties and run an optimized media campaign against it.”
The national launch of Peacock in July meant another NBCU platform for advertisers to infiltrate. Unlike Netflix, Peacock is an ad-supported streaming service with subscription tiers. The service launched with 10 advertisers, including Target, Subaru Unilever and Verizon, as well as a promise to run no more than five minutes of advertisements per hour.
Bhatia said that it is critical for brands to be where consumers are. “Follow the audience,” he said. “If audiences are consuming content on streaming platforms at a growing clip, then our offer to advertisers is to enable them to follow those audiences into those environments.”
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