Netflix unveils new ad formats and live sports sponsorships

Netflix unveiled fresh advertising offerings on its platform, such as single-title sponsorships and the opportunity to sponsor their first-ever live sports event. The official announcement of these new opportunities was made by Netflix’s Vice President of Global Advertising Sales, Peter Naylor, during a keynote address at Advertising Week New York on Tuesday.

One of the new ad formats announced during the event is title sponsorships, which enable a brand to assume the role of the primary sponsor for a show or an entire season. Frito Lay’s Smartfood is making the most of this format by becoming the inaugural brand to be designated as the title sponsor for the upcoming season of “Love Is Blind.”

“We know that brands want to align with specific shows that are contextually and culturally relevant to their marketing objectives,” Naylor said.

Furthermore, Peter Naylor disclosed the company’s intention to roll out a “Binge” ad format later in the year. This format will incorporate a 30- or 60-second brand ad within a viewer’s binge-watching session of multiple episodes, ensuring that a subsequent episode remains commercial-free.

“If you’re watching two or three episodes in a row — which we’ve all done — we say, ‘Hey, let’s serve this next episode commercial-free, made possible by a brand.’ Then we serve your heroic, epic, 30- to 60-second spot, your cinematic spot,” Naylor said. “At a time when more than 80 percent of our ad-supported members watch for two hours or more, this product will reward viewers and allow your brands to stand out.”

Lastly, Netflix will introduce sponsorships for its live events, commencing with the forthcoming golf match “The Netflix Cup,” featuring PGA and F1 luminaries. Distinguished brands, including T-Mobile and Nespresso, have pledged their sponsorship for the event, with their messages seamlessly woven into the broadcast.

“I’m in charge of the ad-supported audience that we bring to market, but this opportunity, we have the potential to reach all subscribers or viewers in a way that’s going to be integrated into the show,” Naylor said. “So it’s not really pushed, it’s integrated … it’ll have sponsors integrated into the show, it won’t be 15 and 30s [15- and 30-second ad spots], and I think that’s expected and it’ll be part of the broadcast in a way that’s natural and holistic.”

These fresh advertising formats and sponsorship prospects complement the existing Top 10 ad format, which incorporates brand media placements into the most-watched shows on the platform. The Top 10 carousel is positioned just below the “For You” and “Keep Watching” carousels near the top of the streamer’s interface.

Regarding the “Top 10” ads, Peter Naylor emphasized, “Advertisers frequently express their desire to be culturally relevant and connect with their target audiences. Well, if cultural relevance is the goal, there’s no better avenue than embedding your ads within the top shows that are currently dominating conversations.”

Written by Sophie Blake


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