Upfronts seasons is once again upon us, and Nine has done the honours by kicking things off with a bang (not literally, unfortunately, although fireworks delivered to our respective homes would have been cool).
Sadly, as well, thanks to COVID, there were no indoor roller coasters and celebrity run-ins this year, but rather an hour-long online show about what to expect from Nine moving into 2021 (because 2020 was wiped from record, in case you missed the memo).
So – what do you need to know? Here are the main headlines. Skim at your own leisure.
Audience Match – An Adobe/Nine Partnership
Nine has announced Audience Match, a custom destination designed to give marketers the ability to activate people-based audiences across all of Nine’s properties.
As part of the Audience Match launch, Nine will develop a purpose-built solution directly into Nine through Adobe’s data management platform (DMP), Adobe Audience Manager.
Audience Match will allow Nine to assist brands in matching their customer data to Nine’s 13 million registered users through one streamlined integration. Brands will be able to better connect with Nine’s audiences by enabling people-based activation of firstparty data that customers have agreed to share across Nine’s premium content. Coles will sign on as the launch partner.
Audience Match will enable Nine to assist Australian marketers to move from targeting devices to communicating with their known customers in an automated fashion and in a privacy responsible way.
Michael Stephenson, Nine’s Chief Sales Officer said: “This partnership gives Australian marketers a unique alternative to both traditional media players and new digital platforms in terms of bringing a quality content environment together with data at scale.”
Audience Match offers marketers the ability to use rich customer data from online and offline sources to segment and more effectively reach their known customers. Marketers can also build look-a-likes of their customers to provide personalised experiences or suppress their audiences to improve media efficiency.
“Audience Match will match hashed email addresses from an advertiser’s data with Nine’s audience data, creating a fully-addressable audience that’s not dependent on cookies with every ad impression linked back to an actual person,” said Stephenson.
“This partnership is extremely important as we know the businesses that will lead in the years to come are those who can bring together data sets across multiple platforms to form an in-depth view of their customers built off their user identity.”
Audience Match will be immediately made available across 9Now including the ability for advertisers to target their own audiences in the living room on a connected TV. In the first half of next year, Nine will roll out Audience Match across its other digital properties.
New (& old) shows
The Block, Lego Masters, Married at First Sight, Love Island Australia, Ninja Warriors, Travel Guides, The Masters, Doctor Doctor as well as the NRL, tennis and netball will all return to Nine.
Meanwhile, there are some new shows in town such as: Under Investigation, hosted by Liz Hayes. It will be a one-hour, studio-based program that takes a single story and invites the audience to get right inside it. Celebrity Apprentice Australia will return to our screens after six years, while Sophie Monk returns to our screens as the host of Beauty and the Geek.
Global parenting expert Jo Frost unleashes an experiment that challenges parenting like never before in The Parent Jury. In this controversial new series, she dares mums and dads who believe their parenting style is the best to put themselves to the test. Meanwhile, Beach House Escape will help people to realise their lifelong dream of escaping the city.
Finally, surprise home renovations in Celebrity IOU Australia will come to Nine in 2021. Thie series follows A-listers as they work to a tight deadline, transforming living spaces to unlock each property’s full potential.
Amazing Grace is Nine’s new drama series about life’s most surprising and precious moments, while Mega Zoo claims to be an enthralling factual series features exclusive behind-the-scenes access to one of the planet’s largest and oldest network of zoos.
Radio Buying on 9galaxy
Nine is simplifying the media buying process for its radio assets using 9Galaxy, with the platform to offer access to radio inventory from November 1. This will make it far easier for agencies and marketers to brief and buy Nine across all broadcast platforms, giving them a more efficient process of buying, faster response times and clear post-analysis reporting.
9Galaxy will now integrate with the industry buying platform RadioMATRIX to make the process of buying talk radio simpler and more effective than ever. Nine also confirmed that in early 2021, it will open up 9Voyager for radio adding it the to self-service platform alongside television and digital, in a move aimed at making our radio platform more accessible to the wider small to medium enterprises (SMEs) market, at a time when they are looking for every possible advantage in driving their businesses.
Nine has also moved to integrate the data assets of its radio stations, which have millions of Australians listening each month, into its wider data lake of more than 13 million signed-in users.
a new powered division
Nine will also be expanding the capabilities of its client marketing solutions division Powered with the launch of Powered Enterprise. The new division within Powered will be tailored to the needs of key C-suite clientele who are looking for partners who can understand and meet their changing needs for business growth.
“Powered Enterprise is for those brands who want to elevate from a transactional relationship with Nine, to go beyond media placement and advertising alone,” said Liana Dubois, Nine’s Director of Powered.
“You already know Powered because you’ve watched its unique client integration in some of Australia’s biggest TV formats, but we are so much more than that. Powered has specialist capability in strategy, cultural insights and advertising effectiveness. Over half of the group operates in our creative studios function, designing, producing and then amplifying creative collateral for brands. And our content partnerships discipline finds ways in for brands, into the fabric of our content across radio, digital, print and television.”
“The launch of Powered Enterprise sees us building on these senior specialist capabilities, all in-house and all together in one proposition.
“Powered Enterprise is for businesses that believe in marketing-led growth, and more broadly for those that believe in the power of total company collaboration. We will develop a business plan for growth right alongside each other.
“This isn’t about one ad campaign or a summer launch. The conversations Powered Enterprise will be having are aimed at understanding an organisation’s horizon planning and co-creating strategies and ideas that deliver against that plan in a way that no other media partner in Australia can.”
new superbrand: money
Nine has used the 2021 Upfront presentation to unveil Money, its latest cross-platform superbrand which will live across television, radio, newspapers and digital. The Money brand will be centred, in broadcast channels, on financial journalist Brooke Corte, who hosts Nine’s top rating finance program Money News on 2GB, 3AW and 4BC, and will also involve bespoke solutions on television and within Nine’s publishing assets.
Nine will also to seek to utilize other on-air and editorial talent in the personal finance space as it seeks to build the Money brand across its unique combination of platforms. Nine launched its superbrands strategy last year at its 2020 Upfront with the aim of building its reach and audience across key verticals such as property, auto, travel and food.
Nine’s superbrands now include Money, Domain, Traveller, Good Food, CarAdvice and Good Weekend and Sunday Life.
A million-dollar marketing challenge
Nine has announced a million-dollar challenge to marketers to take State of Origin from a sporting blockbuster into a broader part of Australia’s cultural fabric as a must-watch event in which even the ads are unmissable.
State of Originality is an open challenge to brands, marketers and creative agencies to help the NRL’s State of Origin claim the title as Australia’s Super Bowl by creating unmissable big-brand moments during the commercial breaks.
The State of Originality will award $1 million in advertising inventory across Nine’s television, radio, digital and print assets to the commercial judged as best on ground in the live telecast by an esteemed panel. To be deemed eligible to enter, advertising must be booked within the three-game period of State of Origin in 2021.
While some big brands have been taking advantage of Australia’s most-watched sporting events, including the Australian Open, State of Origin and the NRL Finals, there remains an opportunity for every ad booked at the State of Origin in 2021 to go down in history and become part of an honour roll of Australia’s ads like those in the NFL Super Bowl.
“We want to challenge brands to come up with Australia’s version of Budweiser’s ‘Wassup’, or Apple’s Ridley Scott-directed ‘1984’ which introduced the Macintosh computer to the world. We want to see brands have fun and create magical moments for viewers, like when Darth Vader struggled with his powers before managing to lock his dad’s VW with just the power of The Force,” said Liana Dubois.
“Australia is a creative nation and we want more ads that make advertising famous. We want the ads to be talked about the next day just as much as who scores the winning try.”
What do buyers think?
Philippa Noilea-Tani, Wavemaker National Head of Investment, said: “What I loved about the upfronts season last year, was that each broadcaster came to the table with a very distinct proposition. Sure, 2020 certainly didn’t pan out the way any of us has hoped, however moving into 2021, Nine’s proposition remained as clear as it was last year.
She added that four key things stood out to her, including: market-leading data strategy, connecting brands with relevant audiences, at scale, in premium environments; a tried and tested content slate, with plenty of local formats to integrate with and a significant channel agnostic eco-system to amplify across; the desire to move beyond a transactional relationship and a passion for co-creating meaningful brand partnerships;and risk mitigation in a volatile market, with a strong automated trading model in Galaxy.
“The partnership with Adobe announced certainly takes the existing strength of Nine’s targeting capabilities to the next level. The challenge now for agencies and brands will be navigating how best to partner with Nine, to leverage Audience Match. Having the data and tech capabilities is one thing. Utilising it effectively is another,” Noilea-Tani added.
“Nine is challenging brands and agency partners not to shy away from continuing to build their brand in uncertain times. I admire the brands who have been bold and brave enough to chase brand fame through a pandemic.”
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