PALM SPRINGS, Calif – Having spent about seven years on the client side at Microsoft, it’s quite natural for Meredith Brace to don her “brand hat” when it comes to the issue of safe advertising environments. “I still look at it through that point of view,” says Brace, who is SVP, Digital Sales, Fox Networks Group.
“And that’s a huge part of what we do,” Brace says of her position at Fox in this interview with Beet.TV at the Annual Leadership Meeting of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “I think the fact that so many people in the industry have lost sight of that and we’re seeing that course correction happen right now is a good thing.”
She says clients’ expectations are to give them reliable information about exactly where their ads are running. “That we’re doing our best to give them real human attention that can transfer their message. We couldn’t be more aligned with what brands are asking for.”
Brace also spent more than two years in a senior sales role at true[X], the interactive advertising specialist tech firm that Fox acquired three years ago this month in an effort to reinvent TV advertising by giving viewers more choice. Just before last year’s Upfront season—a mix of presentations and negotiations for TV ad inventory—Fox announced it had reduced the advertising load on all of its digital FX Networks programming by 75% in an effort to enhance the viewing experience.
“We kind of shocked the market,” Brace recalls. “That is absolutely about taking that model of reduced ad load and high consumer attention that pays off for brands.”
She notes that not only has Fox leveraged the true[X] model on platforms where there is interactivity, it’s taken the concept to video as well. Advertisers can own a full break or a full-series video without sharing consumers’ attention with other brands.
“And we’re seeing great success with that,” Brace says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear more news from us extending that sort of format to other platforms as well outside of digital. So it should be really interesting.”
Interactivity generates higher brand recall, according to Brace, because “the more someone spends time, the more they remember, the more vested they are and the more relevant it is.” Brands have caught on. “I always like to say once we kind of get a brand into the format they never leave because…what they can accomplish there and the stories they can tell,” she says.
It does create more work on the creative side, as Brace is quick to acknowledge, but there are benefits. “There’s always challenges with a customized solution because there’s a little more hand holding in terms of getting creative. I think the people who dive in and really leverage the most that it has to offer are the ones who do the best.”
Brace cites FX research showing that 90% of people prefer interactivity. “That tells me that we’re on to something and that we need to absolutely provide choice for people wherever we can. We’re not going to win by just jamming more commercials into the system to try to monetize.”
This video is part of a series covering the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. The series is sponsored by AppNexus. Please visit this page for more coverage.