30-Second Ads Are Finally Evolving Thanks to GroupM’s Ad Innovation Accelerator

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By Bill Bradley

TV Advertisers can finally take a break from traditional 30-second ad breaks.

Today, GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, announced the launch of its Ad Innovation Accelerator, a program focused on evolving traditional ads and creating more engagement between advertisers and audiences.

“We want to make sure that we’re positioning clients for success in this space, and we see the added value that comes from these innovations that are happening in the living room,” Mike Fisher, executive director of investment innovation at GroupM U.S., told Adweek. “We want to make sure that we’re testing them determining what works, determining what could be working better and building off of those successes for our clients.”

For Fisher, the accelerator is all about giving clients a simple way to activate interoperable and attributable campaigns across the ad-supported streaming ecosystem, with key stakeholders at the same table.

Though more media partners will participate as the program continues, BrightLine, Disney, Kerv, NBCUniversal, Roku, Telly and YouTube will join the accelerator at launch, with the companies looking to strategize and create scalable ad formats across ad-supported streaming environments such as Peacock, Telly, The Roku Channel and YouTube.

Kristina Shepard, vp of global advertising sales and partnerships at Roku, said in a statement that the company was “energized” by GroupM’s commitment to the program and looks forward to “driving outcomes alongside some of the most innovative media and tech firms in the industry.”

Meanwhile, Ann Scheiner, evp, agency partnerships, NBCUniversal, added that the company is looking forward to bringing its “innovative mindset” to the accelerator and “working collaboratively across the industry to create ad formats and products that are effective for brands and captivating for audiences.”

Fisher said GroupM’s Ad Innovation Accelerator will aim to evolve the traditional 30-second ad spot by integrating advanced digital technologies that will enhance brand-to-viewer connections and drive measurable results for participating advertisers. And everything is being done with scalability and holistic interoperability in mind.

“Every media seller out there accepts a 30-second spot as the de facto piece of creative,” Fisher said. “We believe that there is a desire from clients and a need from the industry to accept standards that run across media sellers that move beyond 30-second spots.”

That means thinking about interactive campaigns earlier in the process and allowing clients to “take full advantage of what the screen can do,” Fisher added, whether that be from a branding perspective or a more down-funnel approach to drive outcomes.

According to the company, the program will initially roll out in North America for GroupM clients at Mindshare, Wavemaker and EssenceMediacom.

What happens next

Convening in early 2024, the accelerator partners have already agreed to set recurring innovation sessions and quarterly meetings to establish goals and determine outputs for newly created advertising models and methods, launch pilot programs in Q1, co-create ad formats for agnostic use across the media ecosystem using test- and-learn findings and analyze efficiency and efficacy of media campaigns using newly implemented standards and practices.

In addition, working group members will closely collaborate with GroupM advertisers that express interest in testing new formats and processes, and benchmark testing will be finalized ahead of 2024-2025 TV upfront planning.

“We’re not saying we’re going to go into the upfront with all the answers,” Fisher said. “But we do want to make sure that, as we go into the upfront this year, clients understand what’s possible from the advanced TV space in a way that lets them think more strategically.”

Read the original article here.

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