Upfronts: Nine touts Ad effectiveness, superbrands and a strong content spine in 2020

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 16 October 2019

Nine's 2020 strategy in its "biggest year to date" will involve an increased focus on advertising effectiveness, superbrands and a reliance on a well-established content spine. 

The network's chief sales officer Michael Stephenson emphasised the performance of the business not just through content creation but in developing the "greatest marketing platform" for Australian brands.

Nine has had strong success across all major advertising demos in 2019 (see chart below), with shows such as Married at First Sight, Lego Masters, The Block and the Australian Open all major highlights for the year. 

"For our advertisers, our focus has been all about creating a platform for them that can speak to their consumers at scale and the way we have done that over the last four years is via our content, data and technology," Stephenson says.

"It is fair to say, following the Fairfax merger last year, every part of our business has outperformed our expectations. From our publishing business to the digital assets and of course 9Now, the performance of all of them has been nothing short of outstanding."

nine commercial growth 2019

Powered and ad effectiveness

As part of its 2020 upfront, Nine has unveiled its new advertising effectiveness offering, designed to ensure marketers can demonstrate a return on investment from marketing across their total video spend on the Nine ecosystem.

The new offering, which has been built out as part of the client solutions division Nine Powered, offers marketers a number of key products including the benefits of econometric modelling; real-time measurement of audience response through partnerships with leading media analytics firms Adgile Media and TVSquared; and brand health studies to track the impact of advertising on key brand perceptions.

Nine began building its effectiveness pillar within Powered in 2018, with the appointment of Jonathan Fox as Director of Effectiveness.

Among the effectiveness case studies was the return Peter’s Ice Cream achieved with their festival of the Australian Open activation, and HiPages through an integration in The Block.

In partnership with Powered studios, they were able to drive a proven ROI of $2.98, well above the expected $1.59 benchmark based on media mix that would normally be provided, according to the Payback Australia/Think TV FMCG benchmark.

Nine also confirmed that its partnerships with Adgile Media and TVSquared would be extended to measure the impact across the brand’s total video spend within Nine’s channels.

“Over the past 12 months, we have built out an effectiveness product which is unrivalled by our commercial TV counterparts and which highlights why both television and content integration is unmatched in building brands and driving long-term sustainable business growth," Nine director of Powered Liana Dubois says.

“We understand that proof of effectiveness is critical, because while efficiency is no doubt important, efficient doesn’t equal effective and effective is what sells a brand’s products.”

9powered results 2019

Strength in 'superbrands'

Nine has also announced plans to use its key “superbrands” to build its reach and audience across the key verticals of property, auto, travel and food.

The business will now look to supercharge brands such as Domain, CarAdvice/Drive, Good Food, Traveller, and Good Weekend and Sunday Life, by expanding them into true cross-platform franchises, following the post-Fairfax merger.

“We are supercharging them for their very engaged audience using our new data proposition and where relevant, giving them a home on television to create our very own stable of content superbrands with which advertisers can partner," Nine managing director - commercial partnerships Lizzie Young says.

“Partnering with our superbrands provides advertisers with engagement through our content; scale through our media platforms, and precision through our data.

"This means these are the best solutions when it comes to either mass reach, precision targeting, or a combination of both. We have all options covered like no one else.”

Good Food

The Good Food brand is set to come to TV with the launch of a new Christmas special. On Saturday, December 7 on Channel 9, the Good Food Christmas Special will show audiences how to make this the easiest Christmas ever.

The TV special comes after the launch of the new Good Food glossy monthly print magazine in October. Featuring a raft of recipes and Christmas hacks, some of Australia's top chefs, including author and TV presenter Adam Liaw, will bring audiences the latest in food and drink trends for the festive season.


In September, Nine launched Your Domain, a one-hour TV program hosted by Shelley Craft and Chris Kohler that covers the perfect mix of property news and lifestyle content each Saturday.

The show has helped increase total referral traffic to domain.com.au by 8% and reaches a cumulative audience since launch of more than 2 million Australians.

Nine says for advertisers, it is a "powerful vehicle", especially with the added layers of Nine’s unified data, 9Tribes which has seven property-focused datasets.

Advertisers can use Your Domain to target consumers specifically, based on where they are in the property cycle, which can then be perfectly extended through to Domain’s various print and digital assets.

The company will also look to accelerate the growth of CarAdvice and Drive, which have an existing audience of 1.7 million across digital.

CarAdvice and Drive regularly appears on A Current Affair, Today Show and Weekend Today, as well as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age delivering independent reviews, advice and news to a whole new audience.

Good Weekend, Sunday Life and Traveller will all be given further boosting to ensure higher advertiser engagement and output in 2020.

Content: if it ain't broke...

Following the success of Nine's primetime, sporting and drama offering in 2019, it should come as no shock to the industry that the slate remains unchanged overall.

The inclusion of new dramas such as Halifax Retribution and Informer 3838 (based on the story of Lawyer X), as well as the return of Doctor Doctor round out the network's already established content slate for the next 12 months.

In terms of sport, Nine will also be hoping to create another cricket ratings success story, as the network airs the ICC T20 World Cup, hosted across Australia.

Nine's content success 2019

Nine's 2019 performance to date:

  • Nine’s commercial share of the coveted 25-54 demographic currently sits at 39.6% – a year-on-year increase of 3.7 share points and our highest share since 2003.
  • With People 16-39, Nine has snared a year-to-date commercial share of 38.8% – a year-on-year increase of 3.8 share points.
  • And with Grocery Shopper + Child, Nine’s commercial share currently sits at 39.9% – a year-on-year increase of 2.8 share points.

Nine's content line-up for 2020

  • Married at First Sight
  • Lego Masters
  • The Voice
  • Australian Ninja Warrior
  • The Block
  • Halifax Retribution - NEW
  • Informer 3838 - NEW
  • The Parent Jury - NEW - mums and dads who believe their parenting style is the best will be put to the ultimate test
  • Step Back In Time - NEW - a variety show coming to Nine in 2020, will offer viewers a blast from the past through a familiar lens
  • Emergency - NEW - a gritty medical observational documentary series
  • Taronga: Who's Who in the Zoo - behind-the-scenes documentary series on Sydney's famous zoo
  • Seven Worlds, One Planet with Sir David Attenborough - NEW
  • Doctor Doctor
  • Travel Guides
  • Paramedics
  • RBT
  • TV Week Logie Awards
  • Australian Open
  • NRL
  • State of Origin
  • Cricket T20 World Cups
  • Netball

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