Why let TV take all the light?

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 7 December 2015
AdNews online editor, Pippa Chambers

This article first appeared in AdNews in-print. Click here to subscribe to the AdNews magazine or read the iPad edition here.

With the glitz and intrigue of the annual TV upfronts now over for most, much of the media agency focus turns to funnelling the new-found news and thoughts on content back to advertisers.

From Ten's strong Bachelor/Bachelorette hand and perhaps a questionable return to Survivor, to Seven's gamble on a new provocative drama Kiss, Bang, Love, and SBS' diverse stack, there's a mix of strong goods with varying appeal for brands.

Upon reflecting on my first 'full' upfronts season, coupled with last week's positive and punchy comment online from Omnicom Media Group CEO, Leigh Terry, on how this year “TV has come out fighting”, I really felt I couldn't agree more. Not just because of the great way I think that TV itself, with the fresh new content and returning staples sells itself – not to mention big digital and programmatic advancements – but also because of the incredibly smart and passionate people that work in that arena. From the top TV network execs who have opened up to AdNews and allowed us to find out more, and also the media agency powerhouses that have answered our calls for feedback and to share their insight on each upfront. This serves to help extend the power and impact of the upfronts and to spread the message further with the clout of industry voices.

So we have the sell, the content, the detail, the insight, the views, the feedback, everything an advertiser in TV land would want, surely? This leads to my next question: if TV has done such a bloody good job, as many agree, why don't some of the other channels such as radio and digital out-of-home, create their own big annual upfront fiestas? Not just a one-off event, but a series of related events at the same time, adding the weight, the mass insight, collective intrigue and the sheer power of it all.

Sure, some publishers such as News Corp and Mamamia have their own upfronts that do a good job of setting the agenda for the year ahead. Val Morgan also presents a great nationwide roadshow to agencies, but we know some channels such as print and out-of-home can be quick to complain about the budgets pumped into TV. For example, with digital out of home, it's a space where many confess they still struggle to even get the message out to broader marketers about what they do.

IAB did a great job in the US with its digital NewFronts, but is it coming here? That remains to be seen, but it would give the digital publishers a louder combined voice. It's not to say channels outside of TV aren't doing anything. We know the digital out-of-home vendors have done some great individual events but none seem to have the same mass clout as the TV upfront season.

Why not roll out the radio upfronts in January and the digital out-of-home upfronts ahead of the following summer. Why let TV take all light?

Did you miss any of the upfronts coverage? Fear not, we have it all on catch-up here:

“The networks cannot afford to over promise and under deliver,” - Upfront season kicks off

"Innovate, disrupt or die" – what Seven's upfronts delivered

First cab off the rank – media bosses weigh in on Seven's NewFronts

Nine unveils “complete reset” strategy at upfronts

Media bosses weigh in on Nine's “reset”

Ten Upfronts - The Bachelor's Heather Maltman to front new show; X Files returns and OzTam data push

“TV has come out fighting” – media execs on Ten Upfronts

SBS pushes diversity, content and programmatic at upfronts

"Expected but impressed" - Media moguls weigh in on SBS Upfronts

SBS inks programmatic deal with TubeMogul

Foxtel announces 2016 line-up; makes Anytime push

MCN HomeFronts - ups the ante on data; rolls out two new platforms


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