What if the “new normal” were better than the old one?

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has up-ended traditional business practices, a growing school of thought, amongst those that are successfully pivoting, posits that these changes were overdue and are, ultimately, beneficial.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Denise Colella, SVP, Advanced Advertising Products and Strategy at NBCUniversal, says the group has made a series of rapid adjustments that will lead to a better TV ad experience.

‘Accelerated innovation’

“A very unfortunate situation has taught us new ways of working, increased productivity, how to deal with consumers in different ways,” Colella says.

“We’ve been able to create accelerated innovation with our data partners, our technology partners, agencies, and advertisers, and we’re so looking forward to seeing that continue.

“This accelerated innovation is really going to help with all of our efforts in data-informed advertising, programmatic, getting into new platforms and improve platforms like streaming and also linear

“We see the industry is never turning back. We hope to continue this accelerated innovation throughout.”

Changing times

Recent NBCUniversal innovations have included:

  • ShppableTV, a system NBCUniversal launched last year to add ecommerce sponsors’ QR code links to programming, was used to raise $6 million in donations during a recent Parks And Recreation fundraiser for Feeding America.
  • Through Stay-In-Theater, NBCUniversal has staged “family movie nights” across its networks, radically reducing ad time thanks to a content sponsorship from Target.
  • The company has been more accurately targeting COVID-19 public service announcements at different demographics by leveraging One Platform, the combined tech line-up it is now offering with Comcast stablemate Sky.
  • As TV show production and viewing habits have been shaken up, NBCU is using technology to find viewer groups – for example, “golf enthusiasts” – who may be watching entirely unrelated programming.

Granular targeting

“We were able … to reduce advertising load from over 30 minutes to just under two,” says Colella of Stay-In-Theater. “That is something that we’re incredibly proud of and we’re hoping to take reduction in ad time forward

“We’re seeing our technology and our data vendors cooperate and learn how to use data in conjunction with one another.

“Through the pandemic, we realized that not everybody requires the same message. Parents want to speak about the pandemic to their children different than millennials need to hear message, different from people who are high-risk.

“So we were able to segment the data alongside our vendors to make sure that we could get the correct creative to the correct people across all platforms, using One Platform. And that allowed us to contribute to society’s education about a very important topic.”

This video is part of a series titled Navigating Accelerated Change, presented by Transunion.  For more videos, please visit this page.