In addition to introducing new shows and schedules, Turner used its upfront presentation this morning to pitch advertisers on its ad-targeting data, opportunities to blend commercial messages with news and entertainment and efforts to cut commercial clutter.
Following its decision last year to cut ad loads on channels including truTV, Turner Ad Sales president Donna Speciale said that she’s “thrilled” that NBC, A&E, Fox and Viacom have “noticed our move” and followed. “Now we need you, the advertising community, to support these moves. It is critical for all of us.”
Initial research found that “consumers’ intent to purchase is dramatically higher,” she says. “Let’s work together to give consumers more of the shows that they love. To give the creative community a better environment to tell their stories. And to help your brands win, too.”
The Time Warner unit has become a “data-driven content creation and distribution company that puts the consumer first,” she says. And it has “made great strides by focusing on real results, not empty announcements.”
Early this year the company introduced Turner Ignite, a collection of initiatives offering buyers opportunities to do more than buy time on shows based on Nielsen ratings.
One of those efforts, called Targeting Now — which guarantees delivery of audiences not identified in traditional ratings — “optimized over $15 million in media” on TBS and TNT, she says. Another offering, Audience Now, which offers guarantees across dayparts, has “seen phenomenal results” with General Motors and Kellogg’s.
A studio for CNN called Courageous that creates ad-supported content that resembles the real news has worked with 25 buyers.
Talk show host Conan O’Brien is part of the sales machine: Four of his five most popular social videos “were produced for advertisers,” Speciale says. They collectively generated 75 million views.
Buyers applauded when she added that “in our world, a view is at least 30 seconds, not three.”
O’Brien plans to produce additional clips with a new venture, Team Coco Digital Studios, that the company says will “collaborate with brands to deliver original, social-first content.”
Turner also is helping advertisers to blend sales pitches with interstitial content.
“In the past few months we’ve replaced over two hours of traditional ad pods, allowing branded storytelling at scale. Those stories are holding your customers during breaks.”