A marketers across sectors have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift messaging, NBCUniversal said that starting today it will have less commercial time and more uninterrupted content, according the Linda Yaccarino, the company’s chairman, Advertising and Partnerships.
It’s a nod to the turmoil the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked on the advertising sector despite a surge in TV viewing. Some brands are still on, others, like airlines, have seen their business decimated and had to pull out, and still others want a presence but find their commercials suddenly irrelevant. To help, NBCUniversal is waiving fees for creative services and resources to help marketers shift their messaging.
In a blog post called “When Less is More: Giving Back to Our Audiences and Partners,” Yaccarino said brands “are looking for ideas, tools, and strategies from their most trusted partners. So, in light of everything we’re seeing and hearing, we want to do what’s right for our audiences and marketers … so starting today, you will see more content from us, new ad innovations, and therefore less commercial time.”
She didn’t quantify the reduction. But it will cross dayparts and genres.
The move will reduce commercial time on newscasts and special programming across NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, and Telemundo at a time when people are glued to the events of the day, the company said.
Short clips of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Seth Meyers and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen! will appear in primetime in lieu of some ads.
NBCUniversal will usher in semi commerical free family movie nights.
New resources for marketers include scaling commerce technologies and waiving technology fees; opening up more creative services; building custom marketing materials; and giving partners more access to remote production teams, brand assets, and talent at no cost. NBCUniversal is also offering free editing and translation services to help brands reach people in both English and Spanish. It is donating inventory in addition to existing media schedules for brands to air public service messages.
“Especially now, with many brick and mortar stores closed around the country and other companies facing significant challenges, our clients need more support to grow their businesses and remain connected to customers. Meanwhile, producing traditional marketing assets has become more challenging. We've heard all of this from our partners, and we want to help. Especially now, with many brick and mortar stores closed around the country and other companies facing significant challenges, our clients need more support to grow their businesses and remain connected to customers,” Yaccarino said.
On news broadcasts and cable news channels, the company will reduce commercial loads to allow for more programming. On the entertainment front, late night shows as well as unscripted series on Bravo, E! and USA, will all feature extended episodes and bonus content in lieu of some commercial pods.
NBCUniversal will reduce advertising loads across its networks and add more entertainment and news content as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, and as families quarantine at home.
“Now, people all across America are turning to us more for the content that comforts them and connects them to the outside world,” writes NBCUniversal ad sales and partnerships chairman Linda Yaccarino in a blog post Monday afternoon. “At the same time, some marketers across every industry have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift their messages, and they're looking for ideas, tools, and strategies from their most trusted partners. So, in light of everything we're seeing and hearing, we want to do what's right for our audiences and marketers.”
On the broadcast news shows and the company's cable news channels MSNBC and CNBC, the company will reduce commercial loads to allow for more news and information programming.
On the entertainment front, late night shows The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen now originating from the hosts' homes, as well as unscripted series on Bravo, E! and USA, will all feature extended episodes and bonus content in lieu of some commercial pods.
Some of the company's channels will also launch family movie nights, with sponsored but commercial-free airings of films.
Late last month the advertising research firm Magna Global predicted that the U.S. TV ad market would fall by 13 percent in 2020 due to the fallout from the pandemic, calling the situation “totally unprecedented.” The travel, restaurant and movie sectors in particular have pulled back ad spend.
In addition, NBCUniversal finds itself in the position of having to fill many hours of programming that had been set aside for coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have since been postponed until 2021.
Yaccarino also writes that the company will be engaging in outreach to companies and waiving fees “to allow companies to reach their customers directly in their homes and generate much-needed sales.” That will include access to remote production teams, brand assets, talent, translation services, and editing services, which can all be used to create new campaigns even as most people are staying home.
The company also released new research on Monday outlining the increased media consumption during the last few weeks. The research found that digital and linear TV viewing is up, gaming is up significantly, and that streaming services are seeing subscription gains, while...