With NewFront week in full swing on Monday, Yahoo proved ready to take a bite out of the TV pie with its unified advertising solutions. There was certainly no shortage of newsworthy topics and announcements for the tech giant at its event.

Venue : The Tent at Lincoln Center, home to past ABC and USA Network upfront parties and now the official CBS upfront party place, got a little shake up during NewFront week as Yahoo decked it out in its traditional purple and white. From the reps from Yahoo’s social partner Izea – dressed head to toe in purple – directing guests to the festivities to the purple orchids in the purple cocktail glasses, the event was chic to the last detail. Grade: 4.5 Jacks

Presentation and Hosts : Yahoo’s executive team touted their unified advertising solutions and announced several new partnerships that will bring them to life or that will certainly breathe new life into them. CEO Marissa Mayer kicked off the event with an update on Yahoo’s commitment to talent, innovation and growth in mobile, social, native and video before handing the show over to chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt. Savitt’s focus was on content and video strategy connecting audiences, storytellers and brands on multiple platforms. A parade of celebrity guests accompanied Savitt as she announced multiple partnerships for original content in Yahoo Originals, the new longer form series; Yahoo Live in partnership with Live Nation; Yahoo News and Info with Katie Couric taking a lead role, and Yahoo Premium’s premier licensed content from The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, among others.

Ned Brody, Yahoo’s Head of the Americas brought the event full circle for advertisers to validate campaigns through a partnership with comScore. Yahoo’s update of their Smart TV service paired with their registered user base gives them the ability to retarget people who have seen a brand’s ad on TV and then serve them ads online. This ability to bridge the gap between TV and the web is a compelling story for brands considering Yahoo is able to “link back to 80% of its cookie pools” according to Brody. Yahoo is leveraging data to meet brand objectives paving a new way for TV and Digital ad dollars to be spent.

The evening ended with a performance from American Authors, a Brooklyn based band. Unfortunately, after an almost 15-minute delay for the stage to be re-set, as much as 75% of the audience had departed before the band began playing. Another drawback was Savitt’s overly-long interviews, which could have been equally informative and more effective in much less time. Mayer seemed uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the words she was saying, although her designer dress was red carpet worthy. Several attendees wondered about the designer. Grade: 4 Jacks

News : Yahoo is moving into TV Style programming debuting two half hour comedies on Yahoo Originals. The first new scripted series titledSin City Saints produced by Mike Tollin (One Tree Hill/Smallville and Academy Award nominated documentary Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream) and directed by Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm/The Office) chronicles the escapades of a fictional pro expansion basketball team in Las Vegas. The second, Other Space -- directed and produced by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids/The Heat) -- is a sci-fi comedy series that will follow the adventures of a group who stumble upon an alternate universe. Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino along with Yahoo’s Kathy Savitt made the announcement of the Yahoo/Live Nation partnership on Yahoo Live. Yahoo’s move into live programming will have a dedicated video channel that will stream one concert per day for 365 days. Katie Couric will have an expanded role as Global News Anchor. In addition to her interview series she will also be hosting World 3.0 where she interviews tech titans, social entrepreneurs and leaders in health and medicine. Couric’s other show, Now I Get It, seeks to simplify everyday news topics and to help viewers understand the “TMI” world we live in. With the ever changing way people read and view content online, Yahoo’s Digital Magazines will seek to engage brands and consumers with a native focus. They are bringing in industry leaders as editors, including Bobbi Brown (editor in chief, Yahoo Beauty),Joe Lee (editor in chief and chief creative office, Yahoo Fashion), Josh Wolk (executive editor, Yahoo Entertainment) and Paula Froelich (editor in chief, Yahoo Travel). Grade: 4.5 Jacks

Overall Grade : 4.5 Jacks The presentations and talent were impressive but whether Yahoo will be able to deliver the results advertisers are looking for is still a question.

5 Jacks - Excellent
4 Jacks - Very Good
3 Jacks - Good
2 Jacks - Fair
1 Jack - Poor
0 Jacks -Worse than bad

Christie Allen is Director of Member Support for MyersBizNet. She joins us from sports marketing, having served in premium sales and services roles focused on Fortune 500 companies, most recently with the New York Yankees and previously with the Charlotte Hornets. Christie can be reached at christie@jackmyers.com.

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