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Is “attention” the new language for TV advertising?

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Is “attention” the new language for TV advertising?

Joe Marchese has been vocal about shifting the TV ad marketplace to focus on consumer attention since taking over as head of ad sales at Fox Networks Group less than a year ago. At an recent event hosted by Fox and attended by rival TV executives, high-profile talent, media buyers and marketers, he will begin to paint a picture for how this vision will translate to ad products.

Ed Davis, chief product officer ad sales at Fox Network Group, calls it “a new language for advertising…anchored in attention.”

From now through the TV upfronts in May, Fox plans to introduce several new ad formats designed to allow marketers to “make the most of viewer attention.”

Davis declined to go into details on the exact ad products; he provided some vague explanation on the elements of said ad products:

  • Fox plans to alter the ad schedules within programming
  • Experiment with ad break durations
  • Introduce ad formats that it says will have fewer minutes of commercials and increase effectiveness for advertisers

OPINION: May we have your attention, please?

But a bigger part of the summit is to get leaders in the industry talking about ways they can fix issues in TV advertising, including measurement, commercial clutter and viewer fragmentation.

Fox’s gathering follows a similar event hosted by NBCU late last year. The peacock assembled top media buyers, marketers and rival TV leaders to address these same issues. But many in attendance left feeling like little was achieved.

And in the way of new ad formats, NBCU announced that it is reducing the number of ads running in primetime programming by 20 percent and decrease ad time by 10 percent. It’s also introducing a new “prime pod,” among other formats, designed to make the commercials more contextually relevant to the content where they run.

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It remains to be seen if Marchese’s efforts will result in any solutions, but over the last year TV networks have certainly realized the importance of open dialog with not only clients and agencies but with staunch rivals. The past year has brought about the invention of OpenAP, a consortium started by Turner, Fox and Viacom to help standardize audience buying on TV, while a group of networks like A&E Networks and Discovery Communications have started to test a new attribution model that works to prove TV advertising drives tangible business results.

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