NBC does its upfront for media planners

The big sales pitch from NBC Universal went off in New York yesterday, with the network introducing a series of media placement opportunities involving partner screen networks.

Reports MediaPost:

NBC UNIVERSAL ON WEDNESDAY HELD its first digital out-of-home “upfront.” From 30 Rock’s Studio 8H–longtime home to Saturday Night Live–the network presented top agencies and advertisers with its new NBC Everywhere initiative to bring ad-supported programming into consumers’ daily out-of-home lives.

The network took participants through nine elaborate stage sets illustrating nine new consumer touchpoints with a combined annual reach of 3 billion impressions, according to the event’s host, Mark French, senior vice president and general manager of NBC Everywhere. “The most important thing is delivering a niche audience to advertisers,” said French. “We’re offering advertisers category exclusivity and access to consumers at the point-of-purchase.”

Along with agency reps from OMD and MediaVest, advertisers in attendance included Chase, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Ford, General Motors and Bristol-Myers Squibb, among others.

The new touchpoints include previously announced opportunities, including a supermarket network in partnership with PRN Network; Taxi TV, through a partnership with Clear Channel; gas-station pumps through a partnership with FuelCast; and sports arena concession stands through a partnership with the Arena Media Network, and aboard PATH trains that run between New York and New Jersey.

Through a deal with The University Network, NBCU will also begin selling spots on a network reaching more than 200 college campuses nationwide. For “NBC on Campus,” the network will provide content to the college network, while gaining the rights to sell ads to hard-to-reach college students.

Also, through an alliance with IdeaCast, NBCU will be broadcasting directly into health clubs. IdeaCast provides advertisers the opportunity to buy full-network spots or locally targeted ones. The network is in more than 1,000 health clubs, and bills itself as offering a chance to reach an upscale audience.

The story goes on to note that some national sales capability will be bolstered, but NBC is expecting local station sales staff to peddle the digital opportunities.

Ya never know, but from what I’ve seen personally and read countless times, getting conventional media sales people to also sell new stuff they don’t know much about rarely works and is often a disaster. But if we also assume all these member networks will continue to have their own sales teams, then maybe whatever comes in from NBCU is just “found” money the networks are happy to see but were not counting on in their forecasts.

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