What You Need to Know to Make the NewFronts Work for You


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Tuesday April 30, 2024

Five Critical Advertiser Strategies For Making the Most of The NewFronts

Every media company approaches the TV Upfronts season and the IAB NewFronts a bit differently in an attempt to stand out to advertisers. Digital companies like YouTube and Netflix have joined the Upfronts, while traditional media giant Paramount has opted out. Google is headlining the NewFronts, but is focused on streaming, while Vizio will focus on “the future of TV.”

For advertisers to get the most from these events, having a critical eye is key. Publishers go all out to present their most innovative and enticing content and ad products, but advertisers need to be discerning in an increasingly complex market. CTV offers tremendous opportunity to reach key audiences on the big screen, but suffers from issues with scale, fraud and lack of standards, while display is facing the final stages of cookie deprecation, upheaval from generative AI and the scourge of MFA.

There are five steps advertisers can take to cut through these issues, and come out with truly memorable, effective advertising strategies:

Combine the Best of Linear and Digital

It’s no surprise that the TV Upfronts and NewFronts are starting to look more like one thing. Forecasts show that CTV is on the cusp of overtaking linear ad spend. While the first decade of CTV largely consisted of linear ad budgets being moved over to chase cord cutter audiences, the tide is turning. More advertisers are starting to understand the potential of CTV, which includes a wide variety of capabilities from targeting to interactivity to commerce.

While streaming is taking up much of the headlines during Upfront and NewFront season, digital advertising remains a major foundational element of media plans across different media companies. Advertisers need to consider collaborations not based on streaming alone, but on the total package. Some media companies are able to deliver products that can help advertisers reach audiences across channels at scale, while others simply don’t have the technology in place to deliver.

Working with companies like Kargo, with a portfolio approach, is one way to succeed. Kargo provides innovative advertising formats across CTV, video, mobile and social, helping advertisers reach their audiences consistently and effectively.

Kargo has developed a number of unique CTV capabilities that put the company at the forefront of advertising performance – combining the best of linear and digital. Advertisers get an unprecedented level of transparency, understanding placement at the show level. They can tap into contextual targeting based on real-time viewing data and use dynamic product advertising to enable localized and personalized creative at scale.

Advertisers can also captivate audiences with unique ad formats such as Glass display ads that take over the home page and integrate into the content browsing experience, bringing together elements of interactivity and big screen that make a measurable impact on performance.


Find Partners That Prioritize Creativity

Advertisers need creative strategies for reaching their audiences, cutting through the clutter, and getting their core messages across in ways that are memorable and profitable for the brand. Media companies need to be able to bring a lot to the table – creative strategy, unique ad formats, audience scale, quality content and transparent reporting.

Judging partners by this mix of capabilities can help advertisers find the partners that have what it takes to take big ideas and actually execute them successfully. Not only that, every brand has different priorities and goals, and publishers need to be agile enough to provide results for the boldest brand campaigns and conversion-driven campaigns alike.

Kargo uses a concept called “creative science” to deliver on all fronts. For example, Kargo worked with Hershey’s to amplify a brand campaign focused on S’mores. The brand goal: link Hershey’s with S’mores and with feelings of family, friends and fun. Kargo worked with Hershey’s to create an unforgettable series of Glass creatives that put S’mores front and center with audiences. Hershey’s research found that recall was an incredible 77% and people who saw the ads said the ads made them think of moments of goodness like family fun and creating warmth.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kargo worked with American Eagle on a commerce-driven campaign for Gen Z audiences on Snapchat. Kargo’s data and creative technology works together with the brand’s promotional pricing data, offers and customer ratings to ensure a personalized ad experience for each user of the platform. Kargo’s unique combination of creative ads and data-driven dynamic promotions helped American Eagle maximize the value of their consumer interactions on Snapchat.


Test Out New CTV Innovations

CTV is so much more than linear TV plus audience targeting. The largest screen in the house is now interactive and connected. Advertisers should consider this growth channel as a blank slate filled with opportunity for innovation.

For example, in addition to audience targeting, advertisers can use contextual data to place advertising next to relevant content, location data to target different messages, and even weather data to dynamically serve ads that are more relevant.

CTV is also an incredible canvas for interesting creative formats, and Kargo is a leader in innovation. Glass enables advertisers to design incredible display campaigns that can take over the entire home screen or engage people as they are “leaned-in” selecting shows on the carousel. Interactive and commerce ads make it easy for consumers to click, engage and even buy products using their remote control. And CTV is the perfect place to test out “dual-screen” campaigns, like featuring a QR code on a commercial that sends viewers to a mobile site for more information, shopping or extended experiences.


Fight Fraud and Find Free Money

The ANA’s scathing report about digital advertising should serve as a wakeup call to advertisers. They found that 21% of ad spend went to “made for advertising” MFA content, which does little to drive advertiser performance and sucks up audiences with low quality click-bait style content.

Advertisers that turn the other way are simply wasting their own money. In a year when many ad budgets are flat or down, cutting out fraud and bad quality content is the single most effective way to get more performance from every dollar spent. Avoiding MFA requires a critical look at media spending practices. Advertisers can learn a lot by consulting third party reports from companies like Jounce and Adalytics to better understand which media partners are MFA free. Kargo is one of very few that have been proven to be free of MFA.

Prioritize Quality

The other side of the coin from fraud reduction is a focus on quality. Kargo’s own research finds that quality creative and content both yield higher results for advertisers. Advertisers can resist prioritizing quality for a number of reasons. They worry about higher costs, a loss of scale or an increase in speed-to-market.

Working with a large platform like Kargo ensures that these concerns are accounted for. Kargo has aggregated the largest platform of quality ad formats and content opportunities in the market, and has professional creative strategists that are digital-natives, which means they are adept at leveraging data and technology, not just creative brainstorming.

Working with better media partners is the best way for advertisers to get more from their budget. The Upfronts and the NewFronts are a good venue for testing the waters. If media companies can prove that they offer creativity, quality and data-driven performance, then they should also prove to be a valuable addition to the media plan.

Cynopsis Team

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher
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Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
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Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Albert Nassour
Executive Director of Sales
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Stephanie Cronk
Senior Marketing Director
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Rob Hudgins

Cynopsis General Inquiries
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