Friday, May 24, 2019

Amp Spotlight: Binge mode | Advertising Age

Although the traditional television season is ending, we’ve all still got TV firmly on the brain, what with the upfronts wrapping up last week, the NewFronts a couple of weeks before that, the Ad Age Next: OTT conference before that—and the controversial "Game of Thrones" finale continuing to spur debate online. In the new age of VOD and OTT, television is more a never-ending state of mind than a season with a beginning and end. We asked some of our favorite Amp community members which shows they're most obsessed with now, and what's in store for the future of TV and advertising.

Parker Channon, Executive Creative Director, Duncan Channon

Currently binge-watching: "'Atlanta.' It’s incredible. It’s on [FX], but I do it in an OTT environment. I only became an OTT user because of my kids, who are 8 and 6. They’re OG binge-watchers. I discovered that they figured out how to access Netflix through the smart TV, and they were doing whole seasons of 'Boss Baby' and 'Nailed It.'”

How OTT has changed TV watching: “It’s changed everything. People’s ability to avoid commercials is a bit of an issue for us. But as a viewer, there’s nothing like it, with a stack of three or four shows in a row. It’s just become where all the really creative stuff is. It’s better than movies.”

Advertising in the OTT age: “We’re still mostly making 30-second and 15-second units that apply in OTT environments, but from a media standpoint, it’s been a challenge. Viewers have become more and more fragmented. But it also offers opportunities for smaller brands to get on TV in a way that they couldn’t when they had to do a big cable or broadcast buy. It definitely has ups and downs in terms of media buys.”

The future of TV: “It’s funny, when the digital stuff all came, when everything went to the internet and all advertising moved, TV was 'dead.' I think we’re going to see more of the same, ways for your programming to follow you and be viewable from any device you may have. But the one-way conversation when you watch TV is still the best way to reach people.”

Melanie Mitchem, SVP, Global Communications and PR, FCB

Currently binge-watching: “'Bosch' on Amazon Prime. It’s based on books by Michael Connelly. It’s not like cop-y, shoot-'em-up. It’s more thought-provoking. I also like 'Unforgotten.' It’s an English show also on Amazon Prime. And I’m waiting for [the newest season of BBC America's] 'Luther' to come out in the U.S.”

Advertising in the OTT age: “There’s opportunity for one brand sponsoring one episode of a show. For example, you’ll have a whole episode ‘Brought to you by Ford.’ I think that’s smart, because it’s seamless. They’re just driving in Ford cars. It gives advertisers a chance to be more creative. Nobody wants to sit and watch an ad, because of how people are viewing things now. Now that they have that information, they can really target their audiences.”

On the future of TV: “I’m not sure how they’re going to monetize it yet, but I’m looking forward to the day when you can pick the channels that you want. My husband might pick ESPN, NFL Network and MLB. I might pick 'Masterpiece' [from PBS], and I’d have to pick NBC because I’m a ‘This Is Us’ fan. I think eventually you’ll be able to say, 'I want this from Hulu, I want this from Netflix, I want this from Amazon and I want this from HBO,' and that’s my package.”

Next binge: “The broadcast season just ended, so I am headed back to my Netflix shows. There’s one I have been saving for this occasion called 'Secret City.' It’s [an] Australian [political thriller].”

Reonna Johnson, Marketing and Business Development Director, RPA

Currently binge-watching: “I watch CNN all the time. I pay for regular cable just so I can have live news. But in terms of shows, 'The Chi' on Showtime is really good. 'Billions,' is the opposite of 'The Chi,' but also kind of not. A lot of documentaries come up in my feed: 'Reversing Roe' [on Netflix], 'She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry' [on Amazon Prime], about the feminist movement. That one is super dope.”

Advertising in the OTT age: “Amazon knows everything about me, down to when I buy my toilet paper, so there’s an opportunity for advertisers to really understand me, and say, ‘Oh, because she likes jazz and she likes art, she probably would like to go this concert,’ or ‘She probably would like to know that there’s a John Coltrane collection that’s only going to be sold here, and because she likes this type of content, she would spend $200 on an album.’”

The future of TV: “We’re into good content that speaks to us. We’re not attached to it because it’s on HBO or Amazon—we’re attached to it because it’s really good content. You don't even know what channel [shows are] on anymore, You don't care that it was Lifetime or FX."

Next binge: “I’ve seen it before, but I want to see it again: [the Ken Burns documentary] 'The Civil War.' It’s in the PBS app. Someone also told me about [an FX] show called 'Pose' about the drag queen community that I want to check out.”

Greg Schultz, Managing Director, Sweetshop

Currently binge-watching: “Some of my favorites include [BBC America's] 'Killing Eve' and [Showtime's] recently BAFTA-awarded 'Patrick Melrose,' directed by Sweetshop’s Edward Berger. I just finished 'The Terror' on AMC—another series directed by Berger. Just an amazing portrait of the emerging cracks in the colonial British empire, represented by the hubris of the Royal Navy taking on Mother Nature and a culture it could not comprehend.”

How OTT has changed TV watching: “I think OTT has in many ways replaced the moviegoing experience more than the TV-watching experience. I find myself less inclined to get up and go to a movie, even though I love watching films on big screens with great sound systems, because there’s so much great programming on the streaming services.”

Advertising in the OTT age: “Clearly those platforms are an existential threat to the ad space, where the big allure is to watch programming uninterrupted. That said, I believe those platforms will always evolve toward offering a reduced-fee subscription base with advertising to open up the revenue potential and simultaneously make service available to a wider market.”

The future of TV: “Advertising will need to continue to grow to be both more hyper-targeted and entertainment-worthy on its own. I think this will come in many forms, including incredible programming sponsored by brand benefactors, but with very little product integration, and, on the other side of the spectrum, shorter, quicker and more engaging spots that grab our attention and might even grow to resemble episodic programming itself.”


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