Cynopsis Backstage at the Upfronts: National Geographic Channels & Simulmedia

Originally posted on Cynopsis Media

For the second year, Simulmedia took a different approach to the usual programming-based presentation for advertisers, hosting an interactive Peoplefront forum. Held at the theatre within New York City’s Paley Center, the event brought together major players from marketing, brands and research, as well as media buyers and sellers.

Kicking off a day of data and audience targeting conversations, Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan led a fireside chat with Linda Yaccarino , NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Ad Sales and Client Partnerships. After exchanging footwear compliments (Morgan’s patterned socks, picked out by his wife; Yaccarino’s strappy floral stilettoes) the trendy twosome set the tone for the day: the industry is ready to embrace data for more efficient advertising delivery.

What’s a PeopleFront?
“Historically, TV has been sold on the basis of content,” Morgan said. “Simulmedia has been part of the movement toward complementing the content-based sale of TV with a people-based sale. The PeopleFront is less about Simulmedia pitching something, and more about the need to show that either this was happening or not and why the big networks are moving toward people based television.”

The Challenge
“You mean there is resistance to change?” joked Morgan. “The first challenge is, it’s not the way it’s been done before, which sums up a lot.”

The Brand Leaders
The first discussion brought in marketing gurus of brands Choice Hotels , Fox Broadcasting Company , Jet.com and J.P. Morgan Chase, Consumer Bank. Panelists spoke about scaling data, the role marketers play in marrying digital and TV and the goal of getting better and faster in a newly data-obsessed business.

The Measurers
The second panel featured Nielsen , Adobe and Oracle/Datalogix breaking down new tools and services available to enhance marketing efforts and support audience-based, outcome-measured ads. “What you are seeing right now is a shift from media planning and buying to audience planning,” said Oracle’s Chief Marketing Officer Steven Wolfe Pereira. “CPG data is cute but I really want to know if you bought a Coke or drive a Honda!” Props to Simulmedia for getting Adobe and Oracle to play nice together on stage.

The Media Buyers **
**Facebook
, Discovery Communications and Turner Broadcasting made up the final group. The big question: “How do we connect data with creative?” asked Discovery’s Executive Vice President of Ad Sales , Sharon O’ Sullivan. “Data is great, but if creative fails then who cares? Let’s get the idea right first.” The conclusion was clear: data is key, but content is king.

The Million Dollar Offer
Simulmedia announced that for $1 million placed on its Audience Network for one month, it will guarantee a higher Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) against any advertiser’s designated target business outcome, compared to their coexisting TV advertising and digital base campaigns.

Surprise of the Day
Demo example Marty, a young, blue-collar worker who loves to unwind at night in front of the TV, stepped from the audience to the stage with a gripe: “There are 12 women’s shoe commercials. I want better ads!” Don’t worry, Marty, they’re coming.

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