Live From 30 Rock: Interactivity, Shopping, Programmatic and AI Rock NBCUniversal’s One24

By Upfronts/NewFronts Archives
Cover image for  article: Live From 30 Rock: Interactivity, Shopping, Programmatic and AI Rock NBCUniversal’s One24

NBCUniversal unfurled its annual One advertising/content technology presentation -- One24 this time around -- on March 20th inside the company's 30 Rockefeller Center NYC complex. When it comes to announcing new innovations in this arena before a gathering of industry officials, you can't do better than Studio 8H, the iconic origination of innovative TV from Kraft Television Theater to Saturday Night Live (marking a half-century on NBC this year).

The Big Message: Big, small and in-between advertiser alike, let's partner up and innovate together to make the max out of an emerging cross-platform interactive, shopping/commerce TV existence. "There's much more we need to do as an industry to prepare for the TV of tomorrow," declared Mark Marshall, NBCUniversal's Global Advertising and Partnerships Chairman. "Media planning is not becoming easier out there. It's a battle of risk vs. reward. We're out to move the needle for reward without the risk."

Host: SNL cast member Mikey Day, doing the honors on his birthday. Early candidate for best new host of the 2024 Upfront/NewFront event season. Pleased the crowd with his easygoing manner and frequent off-script humorous takes, such as Jim Carrey movie character imitations on the fly to calling up fellow SNL cast member Marcello Hernandez on his smartphone to explain One24's premise and announcements. Hernandez's reactions were, shall we say, priceless.

What Worked: The entire presentation from the opening montage of NBC TV innovations (displayed on a trio of screens on the SNL backdrop) to the closing executive speech. Great mix of segment formats, including a fireside chat, advertiser testimonial and data crunching that kept attendees engaged in a seamless, authentic manner.

What Also Worked: A trio of breakout panels following the main presentation, covering the role first-party data and artificial intelligence will play when cookies are eliminated from the ad process, shoppable/commerce TV options, and marketing partnerships. Individual attendees chose which panels to attend before coming to 30 Rock and had 30 minutes between the main presentation and their panel.

Data Points: NBCUniversal's TV channels and services reach 273 million adults each month. Advertisers already using the company's just-announced OnePlatform Total Audience with AI-generated viewership metrics are getting 43 percent higher audience reach, 28 percent more efficient cost-per-minute results and 25 percent higher reach engagement. Also, NBCUniversal's usage of generative AI techniques has produced 300 highly predictive audience/demographic segments in short order.

News: MustShop TV, the new interactive shopping ability for individual unscripted series on Peacock launched at One23 last spring, will be expanded to more series this summer and beyond, including Below Deck, Love Island USA and Top Chef. Subscribers of parent company Comcast's Xfinity X1 service can look forward to browsing a catalog of products associated with Top Chef with their remote as they watch upcoming episodes, before they buy using NBCUniversal's Checkout process.

The 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games coverage will be the first from NBCUniversal accepting programmatic ad campaigns, while Peacock's wall-to-wall Summer Olympics coverage from Paris (more than 5,000 hours live) will deploy a number of new interactive features, from the ability to choose to stay with one event or move to another at various times to setting up day-by-day viewing options and tracking medal counts.

Bonus Points: A post-event reception inside the famed commissary space on the ninth floor, once home to NBCUniversal's traditional holiday season NY press gatherings. Outstanding sushi then; outstanding sushi now. Can we revive that tradition this year, NBCU? Just musing…

Parting Words: "We're seeing the transformation of TV into a shopping channel." -Ryan McConville, NBCUniversal Executive Vice President, Advertising Platforms and Operations

"Television needs to reflect the world around us….and keep evolving." -Alison Levin, NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships President

"You have to be organic with a brand. Something you could love and be part of, even if no one's watching." -Actress/Producer/Entrepreneur Garcelle Beauvais (NYPD Blue, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)

"Underrated is exactly the right word to describe Peacock right now. In a short time, we've become the fastest growing (megacontent) service. We've graduated from underdog to underrated." -Kelly Campbell, Peacock President

"I'm at an ad tech conference on my birthday. Reason: helps me pay for my child's high tuition!" -Saturday Night Live cast player/One24 host Mikey Day

"Love you, Mikey. I'm calling 9-1-1." -Fellow Saturday Night Live cast member Marcello Hernandez, before ending his mobile chat with Day.

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