Are virtual Upfront events here to stay? The program showcases from Nine, 10 and Seven have now all been held, and although there were fewer new programs announced, there has been no lack of talking points.
To gauge how one media agency felt about the new virtual presentation formats, Mediaweek spoke with Jodi Fraser from Publicis Media Exchange.
“All three networks managed to put together an upfront that retained their individual style, despite it being delivered virtually,” Fraser said.
“Network 10 focused on content, while managing to create a virtual upfront that was as fun and entertaining as their in-person upfronts are.
“Nine focused on new ways of trading, particularly on data and creating new ways to engage with clients.
“Seven’s upfront was heavy on content and data opportunities, and helped reassure us that they have a real plan for 2021.
“All three networks produced really slick, engaging and succinct presentations.”
When it comes to who might have done it better, perhaps making a longer-lasting impression, Fraser couldn’t separate them.
“Each presentation had a different focus, and for me, each one left me with something key that I will remember – which is an advantage to the virtual presentation rather than the in person.”
The number of new marquee shows coming is very small. Most shows that will be new to the schedule have either been previously announced or are existing formats that the networks are dusting off.
“What was really interesting about the network content line ups, was that each of them now have a solid, tried and tested content slate.”
“There wasn’t a lot of ‘new’ content, but this lends itself to consistency in audience delivery. Even Seven, which announced the most new programming, will largely be using formats that have worked before on Australian TV.”
Reminder: Programs coming in 2021
Beauty and the Geek
Under Investigation with Liz Hayes
Celebrity IOU (Aussie version)
Amazing Grace (New local medical drama)
The Dog House (Aussie version)
Making It Australia (Aussie version)
Australian Idol (2022)
Holey Moley (delayed from 2020)
Australia’s Got Talent (delayed from 2020)
RFDS (Aussie Flying Doctors drama – delayed from 2020)
Fraser said the information each network provided was the right balanace between ‘tell me more’ and ‘content overload’.
“Each network was able to give us a high level understanding of the sales strategy for 2021 and new products that would help us drive this. In the virtual format this was the appropriate level of detail. We have been given enough information to be able to follow up on initiatives that makes sense for our clients.”
Network data detail: “There was a lot of focus on data from the networks, and for Publicis and the direction our clients are going in terms of data strategy, we will be able to tap into each network’s offering to drive solutions for our clients,” said Fraser.
Networks continue to focus on leadership in terms of the biggest network share. But Fraser noted it is important to get the detail about how each network performs within those network numbers.
Fraser: “The primary channel is still important as it is where the bulk of client spend sits. However, as a buyer you want the network to be strong across all their channels. As always, what is more important comes down to individual client needs.”
Mediaweek tomorrow: Upfront reminder – data and commercial opportunities
Visit mediaweek.com.au for detailed Upfront coverage form commercial networks