Digital Upfronts: Havas Media's POV

Posted by Kate Jurras on Fri, Jun 8, 2012

On Wednesday June 6th, BIMA (a MITX Subsidiary) hosted an event recapping the digital highlights froms the Upfronts.   Moderator Armin Molavi, SVP of Strategic Planning at Havas Media, shares his, and his colleagues, POV on the Upfronts below.

As the internet continues to evolve, advertising opportunities will quickly follow; and now we are reaching a new plateau in online marketing — Digital Video. This coming of age has been brought about by significant leaps in the proliferation of devices, the leaps in bandwidth and now the creation of Original Programming to air on these platforms. To support this new era, each of the major digital portals held what some viewed as very traditional upfronts, last month in NYC, mimicking what the TV networks have been doing for years. The question is: will these upfront meetings have the same impact on the market and advertiser dollars as the television upfronts have traditionally had?

For some background color, the events were attended by both television and digital media budget owners alike. It was great to see the beginnings of channel lines blurring, but with that blur comes questions. What are we trying to achieve? How will success be measured? Sadly, there is no single answer for all advertisers, but one piece of information that will be key is “What is the consumer’s consumption pattern?” Is it a lean back experience where they are watching “The Awesomes” on Hulu that is streamed directly to their 50 inch TV or is it a Ted Ed, 6-minute clip on YouTube with the consumer sitting at their desk? What you buy will definitely warrant different results.

The content ran the gauntlet from short form content like, “7 Minutes in Heaven” from Yahoo! to documentaries like “A Day in the Life” from Hulu. The quality and the success of the content is still the biggest question, much like in TV — but failure will not be attributed to lack of trying. Each of the portals has made major investments in content.

The deals the portals are looking for also vary greatly. Some players are suggesting full season/year buyouts with very limited cancellation clauses, which also include the mandatory purchase of Grade B inventory at one end of the spectrum to, dare we say, “traditional” online buys with CPM and CPC rates. Your Havas Media partners will no doubt help you navigate these options, but there is definitely an air of “know what you are buying” before you sign that IO. As media professionals, we always need to be on the lookout for new opportunities to diversify our plans, connect with consumers in new ways and achieve bigger and better results with our clients. So we are very excited about the opportunities that lie within this new programming. With that said, the lack of track records in developing and identifying great content is something to be wary of, especially when the contracts associated with that content come with very loose delivery commitments and strict cancel policies.

Read more from Havas Media in the below Slideshare.