These days, it isn’t just content that gets an annual showcase moment. For NBCUniversal, the software is the star, too.

A week after presenting its programming roster to ad buyers at its Peacock Upfront, the company is also unveiling the full list of its 2022 Commercial Innovations, a slew of ad formats.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Collette Winn, VP, Strategy & Operations, Creative Partnerships, NBCUniversal, explains what buyers and brands can expect.

Shopping focus

At the NewFront, NBCUniversal already announced a new self-service ad-buying platform, Peacock Ad Manager.

Its recent One22 event was its second annual developer conference for its One Platform ad suite.

Now it its unveiling ecommerce-focused ad offerings, saying it has created more than 60 such Commercial Innovations in the last five years.

1. ‘Shop drop’

“We can create a live stream moment where you can have a native Instagram or Facebook checkout,” Winn says.

“We lean into something that we call ‘shop pods’. You’re able to shop the entire pod of a programme. If you have a client has a drop, you’re able to shop that with our talent.”

2. AR Portal

Using augmented reality on smartphone, NBCU is offering to host “metaverse” virtual shopping malls. It previously showcased one such mall for Bravo in November 2021.

“We’ve developed our product to be able to have seamless transactions within the content experience itself, so you don’t have to leave,” Winn says.

3. Shoppable codes

Winn says she is creating “shoppable segments”, driven by scanning on-screen codes, in partnership with The Trade Desk.

“When we talk about every touchpoint, we’re really thinking about it from not just the in-the-show content experience, but surrounding the content experience as well,” she explains.


Ecommerce-enabled advertising is also flowing out as an out-growth of another ad technology – contextual targeting.

Specifically, NBCUniversal will analyze the content of shows in order to flag-up potential inventory for shoppability.

“Then we go ahead and programme those shoppable units to follow that content,” says Winn. “So you’re really creating an incredible contextual alignment.

“We use AI-powered machine learning to be able to scan the video content. We also scan scripts and look at natural language processing to be able to tie and match up a unique commerce moment.”

It is a consequence of AI development NBCUniversal began four years ago.

NBCU’s ad stack

Other Commercial Innovations include:

  • Attention Lab: Eye tracking to map viewer attention and emotional connection to messaging.
  • Retro Ads: Creative designed to contextually match the era in which a show is set.
  • Picture-in-Picture Expanded Storytelling: QR-initiated calls-to-action for second-screen digital brand experiences.
  • Double box in creative context: Contextually-adjacent brand spots are placed alongside content.
  • NBCU Social Studio: Offering to align brands with “watercooler” social media moments.
  • Interactive countdown clock: On-screen QR codes unlock interactive experiences alongside anticipated events like a new show premiere.
  • Sequential Storytelling: For a given audience segment, a brand’s story can be told over time, progressing down a marketing-funnel journey.