Why buy Seven in 2022? Kurt Burnette and Natalie Harvey explain


Reaction to refreshed formats, trading with VOZ, national buys, hot market not about to cool

While Seven chief executive James Warburton and the network’s busiest presenter Sonia Kruger did much of the heavy lifting at the start of the 2022 Upfront, it was chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette who took over in the back half. Along the way, Burnette delivered many of the company’s key messages. He reinforced the facts about audience size and opportunities for advertisers.

Away from the glare of the spotlight, Burnette told Mediaweek: “We will continue to grow our audience into next year. More people means more opportunity for brands and it drives 7plus and our ecosystems.

“The key messages for us are momentum and different ways to engage with Seven.”

Burnette listed some of Seven’s new and returning content and paused with projections about the Australian performance at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. “There will be two weeks when viewers will see us win lots of medals. We won 60 medals in Tokyo. We are going to win 160, maybe 180, in the Commonwealth Games.

Successful integration properties

It’s not hard to see why Seven is keen to get former audience favourite formats My Kitchen Rules and Apartment Rules back in the schedule. Burnette confirmed they have been amongst the most successful integration properties Seven has ever had. “Big Brother is up there too,” he added.

“Both of those returning brands are known, and they are new. Look at what happened with Hey Hey. People like familiar brands, but they also want to see them in a new light.

“Our biggest ongoing integration properties though are our sporting events.”

big brother

Will brands want back into MKR?

Seven network sales director Natalie Harvey told Mediaweek: “We have already had clients asking us when are we going to bring a food brand back to Seven. We know it is really powerful to help them sell product. It works across different categories too. We know that an MKR viewer is not just a foodie. It is a highly valued audience that watches MKR. We believe that being in a different time of the year will be really appealing for a lot of brands. We are expecting MKR to be one of our biggest programs next year from an advertiser perspective.

The series was listed in Seven’s 2022 schedule reveal as coming in the back half of the calendar year.

Harvey also referred to the enhancements coming to CODE 7: “It is currently only a broadcast proposition and we are quickly moving into broadcast and digital. The next evolution is CODE 7+ which is a whole new platform around an investment in technology. One of the biggest things that agencies are asking us to focus on is around automation to take out fluctuations in audiences to give them confidence in delivery.

“They can then focus on things that are going to take them forward strategically rather than focusing time on what can be a pretty heavy manual process within the marketing mix.

“Television has been very manual to buy so the new technology with CODE 7+ will enable agencies to speed up the process and get better results. It will be a real game-changer.”

Burnette continued: “It is broadcast plus digital incorporating a new digital platform which is from Salesforce Media Cloud. It is the first time Media Cloud has been in this country. It is a massive future-facing proposition that will be here next year.”


Seven’s Kurt Burnette with VOZ example

Market will soon start trading on VOZ data

With the release of VOZ Total TV ratings this year, Harvey told how it is impacting the sales process for Seven. “We have already been playing around a lot with the VOZ ratings and the market is still mining the data and getting insights. We have used the Olympics to highlight what the VOZ data can tell us and how we use it to get a better understanding of audiences and create new opportunities for brands.

Every partnership and sponsorship of a show we have is using the VOZ data to show the total audience proposition. Soon we will see a lot of clients starting to trade off the data which will allow buying of broadcast and digital together.

“The insights into regional audiences from VOZ are really important too.”

While VOZ figures have only been released publicly in recent weeks. Seven is able to share VOZ data with advertisers going back to the start of the 2021 survey year. Harvey: “We are currently in market using VOZ insights this year for Farmer Wants a Wife and also SAS Australia. It is already impacting agency and client buying decisions for next year.

Market dictating how Seven sells regional

With Nine taking control of regional TV sales, Mediaweek asked Seven how easy it was for agencies to trade for a national buy.

Burnette: “The market dictates how things are bought. We always aim to make things easier to buy. On big properties we have worked with regional very closely. We will continue to do that, particularly on sponsorships because it is a lot easier.

We will set up for how our customers want to deal with us. If they want to buy [metro and regional] together that is what we will do. Currently it is bought by different teams in the agencies. I think that will change in the near future.”

Harvey: “We have a good legacy of working with [Prime’s] Seven Affiliate Sales. If you look at our major events we do them together. We did it with Tokyo 2020 and we are doing it currently with Beijing 2022.”

Both Seven sales execs reminded Mediaweek how dominant Seven’s national audiences position is.


Visit https://www.inside7.com.au/ for Upfront minis

Hot market not about to cool down

Burnette: “One key factor indicating what’s to come is what our forward bookings show. The forwards into November and December are phenomenal – not just year-on-year but also 2019 v 2021.

“We also have a good look now into the first quarter of calendar 2022 and that is also showing significant increases on both comparison periods too. There is a lot of demand. We are encouraging people to get in to avoid that will be a lot of congestion at the end of this year and the start of the next.

That is where our Kickstart comes in. We are in market with Kickstart packages where brands can own a category for the quarter on Seven. It is a huge opportunity in a market that doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.”

See also:
Seven Upfront: Kickstart 2022
A minute by minute breakdown of everything you need to know 
James Warburton on new program line-up: “We will dominate again in 2022”
TV boss on refreshing former hits and his audacious bid for NRL rights
Seven Upfront 2022: All new & returning shows in 2022
Seven Network reveals innovations and new content coming to 7plus
Seven Network named as official media partner of XXII Commonwealth Games
My Kitchen Rules on Seven in 2022: Who will replace Manu and Pete
Seven Upfront 2022: Broadcaster announces 7Shop, 7Rewards & CODE7+

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