The upfront season may have wrapped up, however, media execs in adland are still wrapping their heads around the plethora of new content and programming.
With each network promising jam-packed slates for 2019, B&T wanted to find out what media agency executives made of the upfronts, those who the networks are essentially pitching to.
So, we’ve called in industry heavyweights to weigh in on the upfronts and discuss what worked, what didn’t and how important the events are to adland.
We’ll be pumping out the industry responses over the coming days.
Today, we hear from IPG Mediabrands’ Magna managing director Victor Corones.
Similar to Zenith CIO Anthony Ellis, Corones’ favourite upfront was SBS.
“SBS always offers the freshest, most diverse content compared to the other commercial networks.”
Though he added, “Nine Network has shown the greatest discipline in broadening and deepening their programming, building on their successes and refining areas that hadn’t worked this year.”
Speaking more generally about each networks’ upfront and slate, Corones said there was a clear theme of revitalisation.
“This year saw noticeably confident presentations from each network underpinned by a revitalised purpose for television and video within a client’s media plan.
“It was a great opportunity for the networks to speak to clients and media agencies together and set their vision and positioning for the year ahead.
“When we consider there is so much change going on it makes sense to ensure they deliver a clear and concise message about their offerings to achieve cut through.
“Ultimately, we’re looking for the networks to be confident, recognise where things went wrong and what they intend to do bigger and better next year to ensure consistent audience delivery across the year.
“It’s about ensuring breadth and depth in programming that will attract audiences.”
However, Corones said there’s still room for improvement.
“Keep them short and punchy; we really only want to hear what’s new, what’s changed and what’s different. Less looking back and more about their future,” he said.
Discussing the importance of the upfronts and their relevance to adland, Corones said he considers them to still be an integral part of the industry.
“The upfronts provide a backbone to initial planning for the upcoming year.
“The programming slates and timing of shows are critical to underpin our strategic thoughts for a client across the TV and BVOD market.
“[They] offer an understanding of a network’s programming slate and big bets for the year.
“The real magic happens when agency teams work on a client’s brief to match a network’s offering to a client’s overall objectives.
“The two happen concurrently,” he added.
Looking ahead, Corones said he was most excited about the tech currently being developed in TV.
“The introduction of Voz and what it means from a media planning and buying perspective is a potential game-changer for the TV networks to change the dialogue around TV & Video planning.
“We believe it will unlock opportunities in the video space longer term for TV networks.”