At Upfront, Buyers Sit Through Commercials for ViacomCBS Ads

Jo Ann Ross ViacomCBS Upfront
Jo Ann Ross surrounded by 'Celebrity Survivor' contestants during ViacomCBS upfront

To spell out the benefits of working with ViacomCBS, the company produced a series of commercials that ran during its Survivor-themed upfront presentation Wednesday.

Since the presentation was conducted virtually, with clients watching at home or at the office, the commercials broke up the event and demonstrated a belief in the power of advertising.

The spots offered a bit of parody, but were mostly sincere in selling what ViacomCBS offers in terms of content, scale and technology.

The first spot, for EyeQ, ViacomCBS’s consolidated digital offering including streaming service Paramount Plus, resembled a pharmaceutical ad, showing a woman gardening.

Also Read: Fox Makes Commercials the Star at Upfront Presentation

ViacomCBS Upfront

One of ViacomCBS's upfront ads

“When it comes to ad buying Solutions, today's media landscape can seem a little wild,” a voiceover said. “It's harder than ever for brands to reach incremental audiences at scale in a premium environment. Wouldn't it be nice to have one seamless solution? A place where your ads can find the right home where you can reach, even the hard to reach streaming viewers? Introducing EyeQ from ViacomCBS with video bundles that unify the programming genres most relevant to your audience, custom creative and unique social Integrations.”

The spot said that EyeQ provides one access point to 60 million monthly unique full-episode viewers. A tiny disclaimer ran on the bottom of the screen, letting viewers know, for example, that EyeQ can be used without a floppy hat.

“EyeQ side effects may include increased revenue, extended reach, cultural touchstones like the Grammys, The Masters and VMAs. Curated for speed, scale and brand impact. Intended, for use to reach every demographic and genre,” the voiceover added. “Unexpected benefits may occur including transparency."

The second spot, for ViacomCBS InView dashboard, was modeled after an auto commercial, showing a man checking out the interior of a sleek car.

ViacomCBS Upfront

Auto spot for ViacomCBS's InView dashboard

“Introducing the 2021 InView Dashboard,” the spot started. It described InView as a reporting and measurement dashboard that tracks all your VCBS Investments and provides creative insights. It's called transparency. “Game changer,” it suggested.

“Broadcast, cable, digital, Vantage, social, influencer, shopper, branded entertainment. You can track it all with InView. Creative insights across platforms. Easily analyze performance. Oh yeah,” the spot gushed.

The final commercial featured a voiceover that sounded remarkably like Jo Ann Ross, president and chief revenue officer of ViacomCBS advertising sales.

It featured an exasperated media buyer.

“Why am I working so hard to make my media buy work? We went to the moon. Why can’t I have access to 60 million unique viewers all in one place,” a voice asked in the spot. “Is it insane to want data that crosses demos or creative that cuts through the clutter?”

ViacomCBS Upfront

The ViacomCBS tagline

A voice responded that “ViacomCBS actually has that. That’s the power of content at scale.”

The buyer agreed that large is good, “but I need something that breaks through, like something big and cool in the Grammys, or the NFL, or the VMAs,” he said.

“With our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we can build something custom that reaches different audiences,” said the voice, identifying herself as Jo Ann. “So now we create a plan that delivers for you. That's the power of partnership with ViacomCBS."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.