The Super Bowl LVI was the most-watched Super Bowl in the last five years, marking a return to pre-pandemic normal and reinforcing the event’s place as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for advertisers and broadcasters. But those major, tune-in events are few and far between. This years upfronts and newfronts will have a lot of what we have seen over the last couple of years with more streaming opportunities, and broadcast and cable partners spreading guaranteed impressions across offline and online video. Our team recently attended a webinar that laid out what marketers can expect this year when it comes to TV advertising.

Here’s what you need to know:

The pandemic has pushed media outlets to be more flexible, including the go to market and cancel policies between buyers and sellers

Media buying and planning has been shifting to a real-time model as advertisers look to more fully engage with evolving consumer behavior. Since it is difficult to predict patterns and trends in both the media industry and economy as the pandemic continues on, buyers and sellers are looking to meet in the middle, offering up content where the viewers are, but also monetizing premium video where possible. These high premiums served as a wake-up call to see more wholesale changes across how marketers buy to ensure the models work for all parties moving forward.

Content continues to improve, while people are still watching from their homes

Viewing patterns continue to shift with audiences, which led to high premiums in the last 2 years for top-tier content due to limited high rating/impression programming. Programming has improved across video channels and platforms (OTT/Streaming) and marketers want to be aligned with the latest watchable hits. Also, the concerted effort to include more diversity in programs and actors in the shows as well as more niche projects shows how the world is aligning with the times and considering relevancy in their programming.

More agencies and brands talking about top of the funnel driving to bottom funnel metrics and more performance driven campaigns

With more and more platforms being developed, there are still challenges with measurement – there is still no concrete way measure across channels and the evolution of measurement is not keeping up with the platform growth. Companies like Nielsen and NBC Universal are trying to lead the way with measurement, but more networks and digital groups need to lead. Brands and marketers are looking at ways to make up for the measurement hurdles through shoppable tv experiences in their performance driven campaigns. It is about putting the power in the hands of the consumer and reaching them in their environment and in the mindset that matters to that individual.

As long as linear still has the greatest reach upfronts will continue to be in the mix of video buying 

Along with measurement latency, audience impressions and guarantees continue to be a struggle for networks/stations. There is often too much under-delivery and makegoods needed, which can throw off campaigns and not align with preferred flighting strategies. In 2021, between viewership habit shifting and supply chain issues affecting advertisers, there was uncertainty on how much inventory would be made available, so experts are predicting more openings in 2022. Broadcast launches are still continuing in the September/October timeframe, but streaming content is more organic and therefore marketing must be adaptable and flexible to the ever evolving release of content. Does this mean the death of upfronts? No – because advertisers are still interested in knowing what shows they should be aligning with, but Newfronts will continue to expand.

Stay ahead of the game with our expertise

The Marketsmith Inc. team of media experts constantly keeps themselves up to date on the latest streaming and viewing platforms, helping our clients to find those harder-to-reach consumers. We’re here to understand your goals, and we’ll work with you to build a plan that will keep your brand front and center AND keeping up with the changes presented in the changing TV landscape. We’ll help you build a cross-channel video strategy to ensure your marketing is impactful and efficient. Reach out to us to understand how our in-house media planning and buying capabilities are right for your brand!