Following Walmart’s agreement to buy the group, VIZIO brought a line-up of new smart TV advertising opportunities to the recent NewFronts event.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Adam Bergman, Group VP of Advertising & Data Sales at VIZIO, reflects on the showcase, where the company professed its history of smart TV innovation and its relationships with the media community.

“Since the beginning and the inception of this business, our CEO and founder William Wang has always instilled a ‘why not?’ mentality within us, both in the way we build products and the way we work with customers,” Bergman says. “We really wanted to bring that to the stage this year.”

Offerings Announced

VIZIO’s NewFronts announcements included:

  • Pause Ads on its WatchFree+ channel: “Beta’ brands include Dunkin’, Sonic, and Baskin Robbins and Warner Bros. Pictures.
  • VIZIO Recommends: A Home Screen recommendation unit that can deep-link into an app.
  • Sports Hub: Real-time scores, direct links into games and personalized teams with sponsorship opportunities.
  • Tom Collichio’s The Pantry: A cooking show with “Shop While You Watch” capability letting viewers buy any individual item, or shop using a QR code unique to each episode.

Data Is the “Soul” of VIZIO’s Business

Data is foundational to everything VIZIO does, according to Bergman. “We often think of our business in a smart television as the body and soul. The hardware itself is the body and the operating system and the data are the soul,” he explains.

VIZIO uses opted-in TV viewership data – straight from its own equipment – to drive its home screen experience, recommendation engines, and advertising targeting and delivery. The company also uses data to generate owned and operated channels inside its free streaming service, WatchFree+.

“We study our consumer data to understand what they like to watch, and then we turn around and program channels right back to them,” Bergman says.

Branded Content Studio Pairs Insights with Executions

In the past year, VIZIO launched its Branded Content Studio, which pairs viewership insights with branded content executions for advertising customers.

Bergman cites a holiday season show called “Merry and Bright” that VIZIO produced in conjunction with Omnicom and The Content Collective, featuring Jordan Sparks decorating customers’ homes with products from The Home Depot.

“We studied our customer behavior, we understand that they love home programming, DIY. We brought a brand in to build content in that same ilk and then turned it around and handed it to our customers and it performed unbelievably well,” Bergman says.

Smart TV Home Screen Is “Most Important Mass Reach Vehicle”

VIZIO’s operating system, SmartCast, is a content-centric experience that presents personalized content opportunities based on viewership habits. “If we have the ability to present a piece of content that is in line with your viewership history and it is presented to you by a brand, then that’s a win-win for both sides of the equation,” Bergman says.

Looking ahead, Bergman is excited about the adoption of integrated sponsorships and branded content and their impact on business outcomes.

“Reach frequency is not a business outcome. It happens to be one of our most important campaign metrics, but it’s not a business outcome,” he says. “A business outcome is I walked into a store and bought a product. I pulled into the drive-through of my favorite QSR and placed an order. I went to an advertiser’s website and I built a quote for home insurance.”

Bergman is eager to continue building relationships between mass reach sponsorship opportunities and lower-funnel outcomes, using VIZIO’s first-party analytics and partnerships with companies like Polk, Catalina, and those in the studio business.

You’re watching “NewFronts 2024”. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.