Peacock Debuts After Pandemic Pivot; Target And MTV Put BLM On Blocklist

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Peacock Shows Its Feathers

NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which goes live tomorrow, was supposed to debut around the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – until the coronavirus pandemic ensured there would be no 2020 Olympics. Business Insider details how NBCU rearchitected its Peacock marketing campaign with the Olympics and traditional marketing channels such as billboards and movie theaters no longer in play. NBCU used what it calls its Symphony campaign, where every network and digital platform across NBCU comes together to promote an event, show or movie – in this case, the beneficiary was Peacock. NBCU has a much steeper climb than Disney had when it launched Disney Plus last December. For one, Disney didn’t have to contend with a pandemic. And also, Business Insider says, Peacock has more work to do educating potential customers about its library, lacking the anchor brands of Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel Studios.

The Blocklist Problem

Target and MTV blocked ads from pages with Black Lives Matter movement keywords, including the names George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, in June, The Wall Street Journal reports. The brands wanted to avoid exploiting tragedies or sounding tone deaf. But the campaigns underscore how keyword blocking challenges journalism, since the toughest news doesn’t monetize. Racial justice protest stories were Vice’s most-read posts in June, but garnered half the CPM rates of less controversial topics. Keyword strategies are also often inconsistent with brand ideals; Target, for instance, has outspokenly supported the protests. “The most frustrating part of all of this is that the brands that are sending this stuff are standing on a pedestal saying that they support BLM,” said Vice Media VP of global revenue Paul Wallace.


Are you sick of three-letter acronyms for new online attribution models? Never! It started with media-mix modeling (still the standard for TV) and multitouch attribution for online ads – MMM and MTA, respectively. And next up is “randomized control testing” (RCT), which attributes true individual-level sales or customer engagements, instead of aggregated measurements or proxies, such as scoring Nielsen ratings or measuring regional sales lift. The RCT movement is a capitulation to programmatic measurement challenges, because the methodology requires a “single sign-on environment,” MediaPost reports. In other words, it needs the persistent user-tracking capabilities of walled garden platforms or telco operators with known mobile users or subscribers. The ad agencies Horizon Media and Dentsu’s Merkle are doing a proof of concept study on RCT measurement.

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