Jenerosity Marketing


How Will I Know What to Watch?

This week, I binge watched Ellie Kemper in the uber-enjoyable Netflix series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. After that, I indulged in Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the first few episodes of Grace and Frankie. On tap, enough original content to keep me occupied (and indoors!) the entire summer.

I am sure many of you have been reading in the trades (or in our posts) about the various NewFronts and Upfronts that have happened in the past month or so. The main purpose of these presentations is to unveil new shows and content to potential advertisers to entice them into purchasing advertising time in advance of the start of the season.

When I first started out in advertising over two decades ago, I recall watching the show clip reels with my colleagues and getting very excited about some of the new offerings from the three major networks. Fast forward to 2015, and we have content from so many different sources, it is hard to keep track. Not only do all of the major networks have events, but most of the major cable channels and talent agencies do as well.  

And let’s not get started on the digital platforms presenting during the NewFronts! What started out a few years ago as a couple handfuls of presentations, has blossomed into nine full days of 30 plus presentations from the likes of Hulu, Yahoo, AOL and Buzzfeed, not to mention Time Inc. and Conde Naste.

Recently, Sony announced that its PlayStation division would be renewing its original programming and creating more to boot. Music-streaming service, Spotify, is exploring creating original content. And what is Dave Letterman going to do with his 4,000 HOURS of clips from his just recently-retired show? Even the recent AT&T purchase of DirecTV is, in large part, about content distribution. It seems everyone is getting into the video content game…

With so much original content featuring top-shelf talent on all levels, how is a consumer to know what to watch? And, more importantly for us, how is a marketer to know where to focus their energy and budget? There will always be break-out hits like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones or House of Cards.

But what about those niche shows that attract a more specialized audience? Cooking enthusiasts can be reached via shows like Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen. Fashionistas are going to enjoy Project Runway. And you can be sure that teens are going to be following their favorite YouTube stars.

As a result, marketers would be wise to pay attention to their target audience. It is no longer sufficient to just buy advertising on the biggest shows of the night but rather to see where their audience is spending their time and maybe even integrate into those shows themselves.

I think we can all agree that as the consumer viewing landscape is becoming more fragmented, marketing is becoming far more difficult. But if you keep your eye on your particular consumer (hello big data!), there are a variety of ways to speak to them directly without wasting time or money.

Maria Bertrand