Thanks to A+E Networks, Cinco de Mayo started off with a virtual bang. The TV programmer came to bat first with a 15-minute advertiser showcase on the final day of this year's DigitalContent NewFronts.
The Big Message: At a time when people are in “decision purgatory” over what to watch with all the choices out there, A+E’s catalog of networks -- led by A&E, Lifetime and HISTORY Channel -- are more attractive than ever to the public, no matter how, when and where they are watched. That ability opens the door for stronger, flexible and multi-platform advertiser relationships.
Host: A+E Networks President of Ad Sales Peter Olsen, with an assist near the end of the presentation from Vice President of Digital Media Sales Stacie Danzis.
What Worked: Olsen and Danzis turning most of the pitch-making over to a number of on-camera series hosts, including Theo Wilson from HISTORY Channel’s I Was There and Grandmaster Caz (pictured at top), direct from Origins of Hip-Hop on A&E. They were extremely engaging and personable with what they showcased. There was also a short take with the hosts of Lifetime’s podcast about -- easy guess -- Lifetime movies.
What Also Worked: Great use of video clips to illustrate key points, such as the power of storytelling to present entertaining, informative and inspiring TV. When it came to telling A+E’s own operational story, numerous opportunities for ad involvement were presented, including short-form segments for linear and on-demand channels, podcasts, customized Web video series and dedicated free ad-supported (FAST) services.
What Didn’t Work: The lack of details on upcoming TV series and outreach opportunities at A&E, HISTORY Channel and Lifetime.
Bonus Points: Coming up with the phrase “decision purgatory” and having Olsen explain it without resorting to unnecessary jargon. Clear and concise always wins.
Data Points: The collective consumption of A+E services across platforms increased by three percent last year.
News: A+E will go forward with premiering new ad-supported channel 4UV (pronounced Four You V) this fall. The service will showcase a variety of original scripted and unscripted series about underrepresented communities of color, created and supervised by multicultural talent. Additional FAST channels are “around the bend,” according to Danzis. Look for a big increase in short-form segments playing on A&E, FYI and other networks, and Theo Wilson developing a number of new projects for FAST channels.
Parting Words:“The engine that drives the video landscape isn’t data. It’s content. Brands matter more than ever.” -- Peter Olsen, President, Ad Sales, A+E Networks
“It all boils down to sharing content with everyone.” -- Origins of Hip-Hop host Grandmaster Caz
“We strive to be where people can get our content, and have ads run in a safe environment.” -- Stacie Danzis, A+E Vice President of Digital Ad Sales
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