NBCU Shows Off Ad Tech Capabilities at One21 Event

Linda Yaccarino NBCU One21
Linda Yaccarino addresses advertisers from 30 Rock

NBCUniversal  on Monday showed off how its technology can help marketers that want to sell products to the people watching its content.

NBCUniversal One21

(Image credit: NBCU)

At its One21 event--billed as a developers conference--NBCU unveiled relationships with a variety of industry players including Facebook, FreeWheel and the Trade Desk--and additional ways to take advantage of NBCU’s data, automation and commerce capabilities.

The Walt Disney Co. had a similar event last month.

“You all know our content. Across our company, we’ve also been creating the technology that connects people to that content...and that connects those same people to your businesses, and businesses to your customers,” said Linda Yaccarino, NBCU chairman of global advertising and partnerships. “The future of advertising is here.. No other company can say that.”

Ryan McConville NBCU One21

Ryan McConville

NBCU announced forming an audience insights hub that will also clients to use its first party data to target campaigns. The hub will also enable clients to see how audiences and customers overlap, enable cross-platform planning and measure reach and frequency, and help gauge the impact of campaigns.

The company said it is working with Snowflake and VideoAmp on pilot programs, said Ryan McConville, executive VP, ad platforms and operations.

As part of its data strategy, NBCU is developing an identity system that will give a unique ID to people who come in contact with NBCU assets ranging from NBCU to Peacock to theme parks.

Peacock, the NBCU streaming platform which now has 35 million signups, will be more integrated into cross-platform campaigns and inventory will be more available programmatically through DSP partners.

NBCU is increasing its automation working with Operative and Mediaocean. 

NBCU also said that users of the new FreeWheel Certified Partner Program will have greater access to NBCU advertising inventory, including premium programming. FreeWheel, like NBCU, is part of Comcast.

The Trade Desk is also increasing the amount of NBCU inventory its users ill be able to access programmatically. Additional live sports inventory will be available via programmatic and globally, advertisers will be able to buy CNBC International inventory.

NBCU also announced an expansion of its commerce capabilities, saying that it now has more than 100 brands in its retail partner network. Evan Moore, VP of content partnerships at NBCUniversal said the company is looking to triple the number of retail partners by the end of the year.

Shoppable programming is coming to local NBC and Telemundo stations and regional sports networks. The Today Show and other programs are working on new shoppable applications, and on Peacock, viewers will be able to click through the Explorer section to not just find out information about the show, but buy products related to it.

“We’re going deep and broad in driving these instant shoppable experiences across the NBCU portfolio," said Moore.

During last year’s holiday gift guide promotion, Moore was surprised to see how effective programming on Syfy was at driving purchases. People bought friends home goods and fan wear.

“We’re finding a connection between passion and purchase with what we’re doing here and trying to inspire transactions right at those moments where someone has discovered something through their passion for content,” he said.

In addition the company said it is integrating its checkout facilities with Instagram and Facebook’s shoppable campaign. NBCU reaches hundreds of millions of fans through its social handles. Now NBCU will be able to use the native purchase capabilities of Facebook and Instagram and connect its retail partners and offer their products for sale.

Shoppable campaigns will also be available programmatically via the Trade Desk. The ads will enable viewers to interact while watching CTV, said Green of The Trade Desk.

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.