Nine Upfront 2019: Starcom and Amplifi give presentation a big tick

Ashley Earnshaw

Today we have feedback from the people that make Nine’s planned $1b 2019 content spend possible – the advertisers.

• ‘The Nine Upfront confirmed the resurgence of TV’
• ‘Nine gave a balanced set of solutions. With much promise in many areas’

We reported extensively this week about Nine’s 2019 plans for content and media buying, unveiled to media buyers and clients in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Today we have feedback from the people that make Nine’s planned $1b 2019 content spend possible – the advertisers.

Toby Barbour – CEO Starcom Australia

Toby Barbour

Nine went to a lot of trouble to communicate its message. Barbour told Mediaweek:

“Very impressive performance, slick presentation, very clear messaging that represents the culmination of a well-crafted business strategy over the last couple of years.

“The Nine Upfront confirmed the resurgence of TV.”

Barbour came away with impressions: “Quality content with depth, measurable, premium brand partnerships, data proposition is clear and strong, like their message of Influential, Informative and Powerful.

“Nine has the biggest multi-night shows in Australia. They have great consistency in the slate to command audience and engage brands at key peak time with MAFS, The Voice, Ninja, The Block, and Family Food Fight. These are content franchises representing great opportunities for true brand integration partnerships with confidence in audience and ROI.”

There was not a lot of new content but what there was looks good, said the Starcom CEO. “Love the new Lego Masters with Hamish Blake – looks like a family viewing winner.”

Barbour also praised Nine’s trading options.

“Powered solution to create premium brand partnerships was compelling and a clear way of working to generate ideation connected to business results.

“Addressability was the first presentation I’ve seen that was clear on what their ambitions are, and how they are doing it with 7m 9Now UIDs. Best addressable TV presentation I’ve seen.”

Nine’s decision to devote a lot of time explaining its expanded sporting portfolio left an impression too:

“Thought Nine was strong and clear on key messaging around sport.

“All rights on all platforms: Australian Open and NRL. Having 100 cameras on Rod Laver Arena for the Australian Open with 360 view angle is a game changer for the viewing experience.”

Ashley Earnshaw, Chief Investment Officer, Amplifi ANZ

Earnshaw told Mediaweek: “Nine’s 2019 schedule presented less of a TV schedule and more of a content schedule of brands to partner with advertisers, across platform.

“The schedule balanced a blend of proven returning formats, formats that have room to refresh and new entrants to the Australian market. Tennis is an exciting pivot and sets our advertisers and Nine up well for 2019.

“For Amplifi, we want content platforms for our clients that deliver both cross-platform audience, brand safety and the ability to integrate key messaging. Nine left us with no doubt they had this for 2019.”

The 9Now information Nine presented about what has become much more than just a catch-up platform was well received.

“Certainly it was welcome to see Nine further removing friction from the buying process – the market has been slow to move on automation and technology and is now moving at pace with Nine in a position of strength,” said Earnshaw.

“We look forward to the promise converting into reality for our clients.

“At Amplifi we have embraced a TV Stack across the past four years and a fluid approach to executing video campaigns for clients – Galaxy is a confident solution to this aspiration for our clients.”

Earnshaw explained Nine seemed to cover all bases with the information on offer:

“We were left with a balance of their strategic pillars across their business between content, partnerships, technology and verification. They delivered multiple solutions that our clients are looking for, now and next.

“9Voyager was an interesting play and coupled with Galaxy 4.0 points to the future for local publishers in the Australian marketplace for growth.

“It was pleasing to see both the focus on addressable solutions coupled with measurement and effectiveness – both welcome for our clients.”

Audience decline in traditional viewing patterns is not a major concern.

“At Amplifi we embrace a screen neutral, TV Stack approach to our video campaigns. We are less concerned about linear audience decline and more focused on fluid strategies across audience connection touch points.”

Summing up the first major FTA Upfront, Earnshaw said:

“In the challenges and opportunities that exist in the market for our clients’ strategies for growth, Nine gave a balanced set of solutions. With much promise in many areas, we look forward to seeing these translated into reality in 2019. Overall it was a slick upfront and a welcome break from more traditional ways that TV networks have set up their stalls.”

Barbour and Earnshaw will return to Mediaweek, as part of an expanded media buyer panel, following the Seven and Network Ten Upfronts in the next fortnight.

Top Photo:  Ashley Earnshaw, Chief Investment Officer, Amplifi ANZ

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