Link to home page
Link to home

News from the open internet


NBCUniversal's Alison Levin on strategic audience buying, the power of brand storytelling and the Paris Olympics

NBCUniversal (NBCU) returned to Radio City Music Hall in New York City this week for its annual upfront presentation, celebrating the company’s diverse slate of programming.

The company’s ad president, Alison Levin, took time out during this incredibly busy season to share insights with The Current Podcast. Levin highlights two major themes that have emerged in the run-up to the upfronts. The first: Clients are asking about buying “strategic audiences,” meaning that advertisers are focused on the value of first-party data to drive campaigns rather than, say, buying adults aged 18 to 49.

“We are hearing loud and clear from clients that they are really excited to move into more precise audiences, not just in streaming and across digital, but really looking at it on the linear side, too, and having one buying tactic across the full portfolio,” says Levin.

The second highlight on the client wish list: Brands want to be able to align their storytelling with other storylines within NBCU’s portfolio of programming. Levin points out that advertisers are keen to get more strategic around big content moments, especially sports.

A case in point is the Paris Olympics, which runs from July 26 through August 11. NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights to the global sporting event through 2032, and this year, it’s making it easier than ever for advertisers to find their sweet spot amid the 5,000 hours of live sports the broadcaster will air on its properties, including Peacock. And for the first time, NBCUniversal’s presentation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be available programmatically starting this summer in Paris.

According to Levin, it’s “creating and opening up a new door to advertisers that maybe have not been able to access the properties before.”