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NBCU OVERHAULS ITS UPFRONT STRATEGY

Posted by Mort Greenberg on February 19, 2008

NBCU OVERHAULS ITS UPFRONT STRATEGY
TVNEWSDAY, Feb. 19, 1:10 PM ET
In what it’s calling a “client-centric” approach, it will unveil a 52-week network primetime schedule to advertisers in April, feature one-on-one client meetings during a three-city roadshow and host a May 12 event to showcase all the “platforms and capabilities of NBCU.”
By Staff
NBC Universal today announced what it’s describing as a “client-centric approach” to its traditional upfront presentation that will include the announcement of a year-round programming schedule in April; a series of one-on-one client meetings in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago; and a spotlight event on May 12 that will showcase the platforms and capabilities of the larger NBC Universal company.“A business-as-usual approach no longer applies in today’s multi-platform media environment,” said Jeff Zucker, president-CEO of NBC Universal. “The traditional primetime presentation shines a light on only one piece of what our company has to offer. This new approach gives our clients an early look at NBC’s scheduling strategy and allows us to showcase the full suite of creative advertising solutions and customized services that NBC Universal is uniquely positioned to provide to the marketplace.”

As part of the new selling process, NBC Entertainment will unveil a full, 52-week primetime programming schedule in early April. Over three days in New York, Ben Silverman and Mark Graboff, co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, will meet with advertisers and agency partners to allow for what NBC is calling “a more collaborative dialogue with clients about the advertising opportunities presented in the schedule.”

Silverman said: “There is an insatiable desire for new content year round, and we want to satisfy that need and be efficient at the same time.” Graboff added: “By getting a jump start on the season we can start the dialogue now and continue it throughout the year, ensuring a productive process with our clients that allows for more robust, integrated campaigns.”

Immediately following the network’s schedule presentation, NBC Universal’s sales team will begin a series of client meetings in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to discuss the new schedule as well as detail the numerous opportunities and capabilities available across the NBCU portfolio.

“This marks the next step in the evolution we began with our partners one year ago, to create a more powerful connection between our clients and consumers through innovative, targeted and custom marketing solutions,” said Mike Pilot, president, NBC Universal Sales and Marketing.  “The new upfront process allows us to continue our ‘customer-first’ approach, as we work together to create new advertising models, define more effective metrics and provide a better return on our clients’ investments.”

The new Upfront approach will culminate in a spotlight event on May 12 that will showcase the full scale of the NBCU offerings in a unique, multi-media, interactive environment. Advertisers will be invited to a Manhattan location to join executives and talent to experience the broad spectrum of advertising opportunities available within NBC Universal:

  • NBC Universal CableEntertainment
  • NBC News
  • CNBC
  • Out of home assets
  • Digital properties
  • Wireless and mobile
  • Research and Technology Centers
  • NBC Entertainment
  • NBC Sports and Olympics
  • Telemundo
  • International
  • “Green” initiatives

The day’s events will conclude with a party to celebrate the kick-off of the selling season.

Similarly, Telemundo will take a more customized client-centric approach with its upfront presentation with a series of  development meetings across major U.S. Hispanic markets in March. These personalized meetings, NBCU said, “will allow clients to interact in a more direct way with Telemundo, giving them the opportunity to partner in the network’s development process and take an early look at the upcoming season and the advertising opportunities it presents.”

The NBC Universal Cable Entertainment networks will continue their upfront presentations as they have in years past, holding a series of special events showcasing each network’s programming lineup, followed by one-on-one meetings with individual clients and agency partners. Further details to be announced at a later date.

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