Highlights from this year’s Advertising Bureau 2023 NewFronts: Condé Nast, TikTok Ads, AR Reels and more…

In case you’re unaware, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2023 NewFronts is a four-day series of exclusive presentations highlighting new content, talent, and advertising opportunities. The event gathers thousands of brands, agencies, media buyers, and technology providers and reveals what’s next in data-powered advertising across digital video, advanced TV, and connected TV.

First up was Meta who, despite avoiding the use of the term ‘metaverse’, announced that they’re bringing AR ads to Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and Facebook Stories. The expanded AR ads offering follows Meta’s introduction of AR ads last fall for Instagram’ news feed and Stories, all pretty similar to what Snapchat has had for years as a pioneer of AR based advertising.

Next up, TikTok announced a new ad offering to brands, entitled Pulse Premiere, the offering will let advertisers buy ads placed directly after videos from TikTok’s publisher and media partners in over a dozen categories (such as lifestyle, sports, entertainment and education). According to The Wall Street Journal, publishers will get a 50% cut.
For now, brands can only buy ads next to content from publishers including Buzzfeed, Condé Nast, DotDash Meredith, Hearst Magazines, NBCUniversal and Vox Media, as well as Major League Soccer, UFC and WWE.

Ads can also be bought on TikTok across publishers’ content tied to tentpole events and advertisers can run evergreen campaigns to reach publishers’ audiences.

Some crucial information advertisers should pay attention to is the quality of TikTok traffic, according to the CHEQ, an Israeli cybersecurity firm that helps companies detect and mitigate fake traffic. When it analysed 30 million site visits originating from TikTok in the first three months of the year, CHEQ found 8.5% of global TikTok-based traffic to customer websites was likely invalid, such as from bots, scrapers, or click farms. CHEQ also found that fake traffic accounted for 9.6% of U.S.-based TikTok traffic.

A shining star at this year’s NewFronts was Condé Nast whose video content (not just live coverage) reached 14.8 billion views across all platforms, up 10% compared to the previous year, according to the company. On YouTube, Condé Nast has over 65 million subscribers, up 12% year over year. Those subscribers spend over 1.5 billion minutes each month consuming Condé Nast content. The company said Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, GQ’s 10 Essentials and AD’s Open Door drive over 700 million combined views annually. 

Vevo, which positioned itself as a music video network during its pitch to marketers, announced new media planning tools. The Vevo Intelligence suite of tools “combines audience and viewership behaviour, contextual and creative insights, along with brand campaign performance to create custom media opportunities,” said Aneessa Steilen, vp of media and distribution marketing at Vevo. The initial set of tools analyses visual and audio content to match ads with music videos that have a similar “mood,” she added.

Vevo’s branded content studio, called “On Set,” will offer advertisers the chance to pay to appear within live performances, behind the scenes videos and interviews with music artists.

Ten million people tuned into Grammy Awards programming on Vevo this year, according to Bindi Patel, agency partnership lead at Vevo. TV inventory is up 40% year over year, noted Kevin McGurn, Vevo’s president of sales and distribution.

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