Future of TV Advertising Conference: Times Are Tough, But We’re All In This Together

Future of TV Advertising Conference: Times Are Tough, But We’re All In This Together
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On Thursday, ThinkTV hosted the ‘Future Of TV Advertising’ event, which saw Channel 10’s Lisa Squillace, OMG’s Kristiaan Kroon and Nestle’s Antonia Farquhaar in the ‘We’re all in this together: 2021 and the Agency/Broadcaster/Client relationship’ panel, hosted by Karen Halligan, Director, KPMG Media Value Advisory.

The panel focused on how networks, clients and agencies can work together throughout 2021 to ensure the continued growth of TV.

On the challenges of 2020, all three speakers brought up the opportunities for restructuring. For Farquhaar, the priority became reshaping Nestle’s content to provide reassurance for customers, whie Squillace emphasised the importance of maintaining team culture while working online.

Kroon focused on how best to support clients: “our people are our business.” For OMD, there was an understanding that COVID would pass, and that ultimately, without the pandemic they “wouldn’t have set themselves certain challenges.”

It was on the future of TV that the panellists were more divided. Network 10’s Squillace was to quick to assert that COVID had created grounds for a full recovery of TV. She said, “I think it’s here for the long term…I cannot see that this will abate.”

Kroon was more hesitant, stating that he agreed to “a point”, but that his ultimate belief was that the industry will return to long-term trends. Ultimately, there is a “cyclical demand” that is unlikely to ever be completely disrupted.

Other areas of slight contention was the ways in which TV networks are managing the demand for advertising as well as managing client relationships.

Squillace pointed out that TV is under the strictest codes in terms of ad inventory. She pushed the importance of “relevant, editorially led sponsorships” for advertisers. Indeed, Farquhaar said that the pandemic provided opprtunity to springboard Nestle brands that had previously been less of an advertising priority. Tapping into a “revelant cultural context” became their focus, seen in partnerships like Maggi noodles with Masterchef. Nestle actually increased their spend over the course of 2020.

Koon reflected on the significant disruption to the industry and the effect of enormous workloads on clients, networks and agencies.

The TV industry, he said, were the most helpful industry by far in supporting struggling clients in the early days of the pandemic. Now that demand is returning, though, it has become slightly more challenging.

This demand is evident in the rebound in the industry, which has seen a return to thirteen to fourteen week lead times on orders according to Squillace.

All three panellists reflected on the growing prominence of BVOD and connected TV. For Koon, connected TV was the “next big thing.” This was also something pointed at by Farquhaar, who said Nestle’s approach was audience led when prioritsing differen platforms.

Squillace said that 10’s audience “haven’t declined, they’ve migrated to other platforms” to watch their content.

Finally, the panellists reflected on the biggest frustrations of the industry. Farquhaar said that the industry still felt fragmented from a client point of view, particularly when discussing advertising on linear TV and BVOD.

One positive, though, was the level of unity between TV networks according to Kristiaan Koon, a sentiment both Farquhaar amd Squillace agreed with. His main frustration was with lack of clarity over when Oztam’s VOZ insights would be available.

From a newtork perspective, Squillace summarised with, “we are doing everything we can to drive our industry forwards and address these concerns.”

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