WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 Connects the Consumer Dots

By Charlene Weisler

I love it when an upfront starts off with warm up research slides as the WarnerMedia upfront did this year. Did you know, for example, that CNN.com has 30,000 visits per minute? Or that half of TNT viewers say that they can’t function without coffee in the morning? Or that 52% of adult Cartoon Network viewers admit that they sometimes let their children influence what they buy? Or that 87% of truTVs audience watches the network live?

WarnerMedia’s CEO John Stankey greeted the assembled crowd, “excited about future of the advertising business. We are a new company with new ambitions and a new approach to the industry.” Now a subsidiary of AT&T, WarnerMedia can now take advantage of the data capabilities and insights divisions of their owners. “We are working with Xandr,” Stankey explained, as their “set top router and mobile data partners. And we are investing in premium content across all platforms to connect with fans at scale.”

Media companies must keep up with changing tastes, consumer consumption patterns, expanding platforms and choice of devices. Omni-channel curation with engaging content for a range of different audience tastes is a pivotal goal and one that WarnerMedia is aggressively addressing. Stankey noted that, “consumption is changing, technology is changing, the business model is changing but our need to connect with passionate consumers at scale is not changing.”

To that end, Donna Speciale, President Ad Sales, offered advertisers, “Expanded reach, measurable outcomes and driving impact,” with a unified WarnerMedia sales department and content available across all platforms. “It is a full funnel solution,” she explained. The company is offering content initiatives including Chasing The Cure which gathers in experts and audiences across social media to help those suffering from undiagnosed diseases.

“Marketers are seeing the value of partnering differently,” she stated, citing as an example, Lego’s initiative with Cartoon Network that, through an app, garnered over 12 million minutes spent with the advertiser. “What sets us apart is that we can leverage AT&T data with Xandr insights of 170 million consumer touchpoints and guarantee business outcomes.”  Hewlett Packard was one of the first clients, followed by Volkswagen and McDonalds. Volkswagen used AT&T data to target auto-intenders and spurred visits to the dealership by +6.5%. McDonald’s matched to A&T subscriber data, focusing delivery on custom strategic targets and drove double digit lift in in-store visits.

“Linear TV is critical to media mix,” she made sure to include, “but the only way to reach our fans is to advertise on all of our platforms. We are closing the engagement loop by leveraging data insights with meaningful advertising experiences that are needed and wanted by our consumers

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