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NBCU Courting Advertisers with Less Clutter, Free Services

With the coronavirus cutting into economic activity and advertising revenues, NBCUniversal is reaching out to tell ad clients that it’s got more viewers, more content and more ways to help them do business during the crisis.

NBCU said it is looking to reduce commercial load to make room for more content and more effective and innovative messaging. It said it has research about how consumers habits are changing and it's offering technical support, free editorial services and additional air time for public service campaigns.

“This global health crisis has asked all of us to step up and do more,” said Linda Yaccarino, NBCU chairman, advertising and partnerships in a blog post Monday. “At Comcast NBCUniversal Sky, we've been trying to do our part too while holding true to our values by putting our employees, audiences, and partners first.”

While Americans are turning to NBCU for news and entertainment, Yaccarino noted that “some marketers across every industry have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift their messages, and they're looking for ideas, tools, and strategies from their most trusted partners. So, in light of everything we're seeing and hearing, we want to do what's right for our audiences and marketers.”

That includes putting more content and less commercial time on its networks and web properties, Yaccarino said.

NBCU will be providing viewers with more news, more comedy, more movies and more reality. Comcast subscribers will also get on-demand titles on the X1 platform.

“To allow companies to reach their customers directly in their homes and generate much-needed sales, our teams are scaling our new commerce technologies, while waiving technology fees,” Yaccarino said.

“Simultaneously, we're opening up more creative services, building custom marketing materials for more clients, and giving our partners more access to remote production teams, brand assets, and talent--all without the associated fees,” she said. “On top of that, we're offering free editing and translation services to help brands reach people in both English and Spanish, and even donating inventory in addition to their existing media schedules so brands can get their public service messages out.”

Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, NBCU has been advocating cutting commercial clutter and using data and technology to make advertising messages more effective, efficient and accountable. Yaccarino said that taking those steps made even more sense now.

“We know for our entire community—our audiences, partners, and creators—this is the right thing do. And it's just the start. We'll keep writing a new playbook to serve them all with more intention, less interruption, and more impact. Even as we face this challenging moment for our nation and our world, we can start building a path forward that will last long after this crisis ends,” she said.

Here is Yaccarino’s blog post:

When Less is More: Giving Back to Our Audiences and Partners

By Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising and Partnerships, NBCUniversal

This global health crisis has asked all of us to step up and do more. Doctors, nurses, and first responders are working the front lines, companies have transformed factories to make critically needed supplies, and communities are coming together even while staying apart.

At Comcast NBCUniversal Sky, we've been trying to do our part too while holding true to our values by putting our employees, audiences, and partners first. We're pitching in across every aspect of our business: from providing free internet to creating and distributing a nationwide PSA campaign, supporting small businesses, making our News coverage more widely available, and doing whatever it takes to bring fans vital information or moments of joy.

Now, people all across America are turning to us more for the content that comforts them and connects them to the outside world. At the same time, some marketers across every industry have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift their messages, and they're looking for ideas, tools, and strategies from their most trusted partners. So, in light of everything we're seeing and hearing, we want to do what's right for our audiences and marketers.

We can learn a lot from the millions of people around the country keeping social distance and staying at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, doing more for their communities by doing less. In that same spirit, starting today, you will see MORE content from us, new ad innovations, and therefore LESS commercial time.

For the last few years, we've been working towards giving all audiences the industry's best viewing experience across our entire One Platform—and soon, on Peacock—all while giving marketers increased flexibility. But given this unprecedented situation, it's our responsibility to do MORE, now and always. In this case, that means accelerating plans for a better viewing experience everywhere, giving people more content, and also providing marketing partners free resources.

Here's a glimpse of what our viewers will see:

  • MORE News and Information: By reducing commercial time we'll give more time to our news divisions across NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, and Telemundo to share important updates and specialprogrammingwith our audiences in real-time.

  • MORE Theater Experiences at Home: We're bringing family movie nights to people across the nation with the uninterrupted theater ad experience.
  • MORE Reality: We're airing extended episodes of many Bravo, E!, and USA unscripted favorites.
  • MORE Originals: We're bringing fans new seasons of their favorite shows on Bravo, E!, Oxygen, USA and Syfy with up-close and personal social engagement with our biggest stars.
  • MORE On-Demand: Comcast cable subscribers now have access to more un-gated content on X1.

In addition to more content, we're also providing free resources for marketers. Especially now, with many brick and mortar stores closed around the country and other companies facing significant challenges, our clients need more support to grow their businesses and remain connected to customers. Meanwhile, producing traditional marketing assets has become more challenging. We’ve heard all of this from our partners, and we want to help.

So, to allow companies to reach their customers directly in their homes and generate much-needed sales, our teams are scaling our new commerce technologies, while waiving technology fees. Simultaneously, we're opening up more creative services, building custom marketing materials for more clients, and giving our partners more access to remote production teams, brand assets, and talent--all without the associated fees. On top of that, we're offering free editing and translation services to help brands reach people in both English and Spanish, and even donating inventory in addition to their existing media schedules so brands can get their public service messages out.

We know for our entire community—our audiences, partners, and creators—this is the right thing do. And it's just the start. We'll keep writing a new playbook to serve them all with more intention, less interruption, and more impact.Even as we face this challenging moment for our nation and our world, we can start building a path forward that will last long after this crisis ends.