10/20/21: Cynopsis Reports From Advertising Week


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday October 20, 2021

Insights and Highlights from Advertising Week New York 2021

Cathy Applefeld Olson

The CTV environment is accelerating creative trends, including brands aligning different creatives with different target audiences. Marketers are looking for standardized measurement to justify their spend in the converged TV space. And audio accounts for more usage time on mobile devices than social or gaming. Welcome back to Cynopsis’ continuing dedicated AWNY coverage.


There will be 204 million connected TV viewers in the US by next year. This according to a recent eMarketer study cited by Nick Jezarian, Senior Director of Media Strategy at Target, during the “Connected TV: Where We’re Going & How We’re Going To Get There” session. Staying in front of the audience and their viewing preferences is top of mind at NBCU, said Joe Cady, SVP of Digital and Advanced Advertising Strategy & Development, who cited research that 25 percent of viewing time is spent in the CTV environment. “For us for certain shows, it’s more like 50-50,” he said, noting a key benefit of the company’s One Platform is it “allows us to move campaigns from one platform to another based on how audiences are showing up for that show or campaign.” Are brands using CTV as a testing ground for new campaign concepts? Allison Clarke, Head of Client Development at Vizio, says Yes. “The depth of data we can provide gives them the opportunity to see what’s working for them,” she said. “And we are able to align them to the right audiences.”

Speaking of Vizio, the company this morning announced the launch of its Features curated content offering during a breakfast with hip hop media company Polaris. Features leverage first party viewership data and homescreen targeting capabilities to deliver personalized content experiences to audiences via free ad-supported channels, movies, and shows across the Vizio SmartCast operating system.

Some wisdom from Magnite: Kristen Williams, SVP of Strategic Partnerships, noted on the “Connected TV: Where We’re Going” panel three trends the agency is seeing:
1. Brands aligning creative to their target audience. “They’re using CTV as a story-telling environment.”
2. A focus on refreshing creatives often in the streaming environment “to avoid user fatigue.”
3. Brands adding overlays to existing creatives to help those creatives evolve over time

How are both the buy side and sell side getting more comfortable with the CTV space? “We’re seeing growth across the board” on the consumer side,” said Ben Antier, CEO at Publica, at “The Shift to CTV: Your Audience Is Waiting” session. “Now we have to convince advertisers. Part of reason is there’s a lot of education that needs to happen, and transparency. Most of this is sold programmatically, and most brands don’t understand” how these auctions work. “Marketers are asking more questions about where is the inventory running,” said Joe Melaragno, Head of Platform Sales & Agency Development at Samsung Ads. “You can’t quite buy it in the same way as the Upfront broadcast so CTV takes a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to plan and budget, especially as advertisers are moving more of their CTV budget into programmatic.”



The CTV ad spend is largely programmatic, and that means evolutions in measurement. “TV for a very long time was reach and frequency—and it worked well. The opportunity with programmatic is what programmatic brings with it—it’s data-driven; that means every decision is backed with data,” said Shreya Gulati, Director of Data Partnerships at The Trade Desk, during the “Better Data, Better Decisions: Rethinking Campaign Measurement” session. “Those other metrics still matter… but our goal is moving to real-world outcomes.” Lindsay Fordham, VP of Product at Lucid, said Lucid is not only moving into CTV measurement but bringing it together with linear measurement “to provide a cross-platform report on a daily basis so we can execute seamlessly among channels and use that to make better decisions, whether it’s with a creative rotation strategy or planning a budget.”

Cynopsis caught up with Jo Kinsella, President of TVSquared, who spoke on today’s “Where Converged TV Meets Collaboration” panel:

Measurement remains fragmented and complex in the converged TV space. What’s your best advice for advertisers trying to navigate the ecosystem?
We need to standardize on the way we count and we need to standardize on the way we ascribe value. TVSquared has done that—we’re already doing that for thousands of advertisers today. We’re matching reach, frequency and reach extension metrics to audience IDs across our platform and tying them to the outcomes that are most important to each brand. We’ve been able to take a very fragmented marketplace, bring down the walled gardens and turn it into simplified, always-on analytics that are accessible within hours.

What are advertisers looking for in measurement, and what are the must-haves going forward?
One of the must-haves that advertisers are looking for in measurement is to count and ascribe value in a similar way to justify their TV investments. The way to do that is to leverage an impression and tie it through reach and frequency metrics to an audience ID.

Cynopsis also asked Jason Swartz, New York Interconnect VP of Advanced Advertising, New Business and National Sales, what advertisers are looking for in measurement today. Here’s what he had to say: “Measurement is making all the difference. And attribution studies go beyond the traditional GRP. They have the advantage of providing a marketing team or client with information that shows brand health behavior as well as proving a client hit one (or all) of the following touchstones: Website, franchise or dealer location, ROI purchased a vehicle, ROI based on credit card transaction, ROI based on ‘open app’ volume.”



Connecting the dots: As streaming continues to gain momentum, balancing the need to provide scale and efficiency while surrounding it with premium content was the topic at hand for an “In Conversation” segment with ViacomCBS’ SVP, Digital Sales, Jason Hernandez and Brad Stockton, Dentsu SVP, US National Video Innovation. Top of mind, Stockton said, “We want to make sure we’re never losing sight of premium content; this element of partnership is so important. There are going to be certain pieces of content we want to be next to, and pairing with content that is going to be very measurable.” Digital could also learn a thing or two from television, he said. “On linear TV I know every spot, where it runs. In digital we don’t have that kind of information. The biggest thing we need to push on from a content perspective is to [see] where are we running out content.”


Not only is there a place for purpose-driven marketing, there is also a responsibility. “Purpose in business isn’t new. It’s trending because consumers and employees are demanding organizations take a stand on issues important to them, which in turn is humanizing business,” said Dana Barakat, VP, Marketing + Communications at New York Interconnect, who moderated today’s session, “How Purpose-Driven Organizations are Setting a New Standard.” Panelists from iHeartMedia, 180NY and Horizon Media shared details about their purpose-driven campaigns and parsed issues such as authenticity and the intersection of purpose and profit.

“At the end of the day, it’s about where do you need to show up? If you’re showing up at the right places and leaning into purpose, it affects your business in the right way,” said Alexandra Cameron, SVP, Unified Partnerships at iHeartMedia. “But purpose shouldn’t be driven specifically because of profit.” When it comes to executing purpose-driven activations, question one, said Angela Kosniewski, Managing Director at 180NY, is: “Is it an initiative or is it actually changing culture at your organization?” Kosniewski said she asks clients to consider what is inherent in their company vs. what they need to build from scratch. If it’s the latter, “by in large it becomes inauthentic,” she said.


Audio is intimate, contextualized and it’s big business for brands. How big? “When we’re talking to clients about the media mix, especially making up for linear declines, audio is the No. 1 place to reach younger audiences,” said Kelly Chiricotti, VP/Director, at Spark Foundry, during “The Power of Sound: Tapping Into the Audio Boom” segment. “It’s also the No. 1 thing we’re doing on our phones—more than social, more than gaming.” Jenn LaRocco, VP, Strategic Accounts at SXM Media, noted “it’s not just incremental reach, it’s also these incremental moments.” She pointed to SXM data showing 80 percent of all audio listening happens when there’s no visual available.

Michael Loper, VP of Experience Strategy at RAPP, said when working with clients on audio throughout the funnel he focuses on three things: Empathy. “We really love the nuance of the human connection,” he said, pointing to a recent Spotify study that revealed 66 percent of respondents are opting for audio “as an escape from the overload of visual media.” Consistency: “Repetition breeds reputation.” Momentum: “Looking at how content can be reformatted for an audio channel in way that brings the story to life in an additive way.”

The golden age of streaming audio offers opportunities for marketers. We caught up with Richard Stern, CEO of TuneIn, who participated in the “Audio in Today’s Digital Age: A Path to Distribution and Monetization” session.

What are your best tips for brands looking to enter the streaming audio world?
There are four main tips that I would recommend: A) Work with your streaming partners to identify the key audience touchpoints that matter most to your customers. B) Be authentic: understand that you are engaging with listeners during a time where audio is often providing comfort. Do your best to meet your audience where they are. C) Be Creative: Streaming audio services offer brands a variety of different ways to engage with listeners. Companies that are willing to experiment with new strategies and platform features will stand out to listeners. D) Build long-term relationships with listeners: brands need to invest in multiple consumer touch points in order to achieve significant results.



* “First and foremost, we’re focused on our culture.” — Jason Hernandez
SVP, Digital Sales, ViacomCBS
* “40 percent of the audience for ’90 Day Fiance’ identifies themselves as people of color.” – Jon Steinlauf, Chief US Ad Sales Officer, Discovery Inc.
* “What I said to Madison Avenue at the beginning of 2020 is, You’re very white, and you’re very racist.” Byron Allen, Chairman/CEO, Entertainment Studio Global Media
* “Consumers are being more intentional about their decisions, how they spend their time. It’s important for brands to show up with intention as well. They can’t just be disruptive; they need to be additive.” – Mukta Chowdhary, VP Cultural Insights, WarnerMedia
* “The most beautiful change I’ve seen in the [modeling] industry is inclusion. Age is the last frontier.” — Christie Brinkley

If you have an AWNY news tip, reaction or question, you can find me at catholson331@gmail.com. See you tomorrow.

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox


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