Here’s a useful tip for anyone wanting to pitch something to Initiative’s Amber Kozo: Try humor. It certainly worked for Meredith Corporation at the recently completed Digital Content NewFronts 2018.

Meredith used its NewFronts presentation to announce additions to its over-the-top PeopleTV service, including “Chatter,” a live talk show hosted by actress Rosie Diaz that will appear on both PeopleTV and Twitter. Meredith also debuted “Search History,” a comedy in which Michelle Collins “digs deep and peruses through the phones of unsuspecting, shocked bystanders.”

In this interview with Beet.TV, Kozo, who is in addition to being Manager, Digital Partnerships, at Initiative is a self-professed comedy lover, reacts to Meredith’s latest efforts “as a marketer who has seen everything being pitched to me that’s under the sun.” She also discusses the benefits and pitfalls for brands that engage in live content.

“I definitely thought Meredith did a great job with who they brought on to represent and to showcase the programs and the live feeds that they’re doing,” Kozo says. “I mean, clearly it worked. Everyone in the room was laughing and was enjoying what they were engaging with.

“I know I’m going to start looking at People now and Chatter. I don’t even, like, really use Twitter and I’m like, ‘I should get back on Twitter.’ I just want to follow this program because it’s funny and it’s light, but it’s also doing a good job of connecting with their consumers,” she adds.

Kozo thinks live content is “a great opportunity” but cautions that brands “need to have a lot of trust in who you’re aligning with, especially since it’s typically fairly unscripted. You can’t plan for how things are going to go and you can’t really take back your message after it’s been shown.”

More to the point, live content entails advertisers giving up a large degree of control, “which I think is really tough for marketers to do.”

Nonetheless, she thinks live is a great opportunity.

“I think it’s when people are most leaned in. People want stuff right away. They want to be cutting edge. People are always connected and they just want to be at the forefront of whatever’s happening.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.