TV networks move into ad creation

21 March 2013

NEW YORK: Television networks are playing a greater role in the creation of ads in the US, as they try to hold onto viewers during breaks and maintain the value of the airtime they sell to marketers.

Scripps Networks Interactive, the parent of cable stations like DIY, Food Network, HGTV and the Travel Channel, is now making spots which resemble its shows, to the extent that some even feature programme hosts.

While this can be a convoluted process, the results justify this effort, according to John Dailey, senior vice president of regional ad sales at Scripps Networks Interactive. He told the Wall Street Journal that marketers "feel it cuts through the clutter".

Brands also recognise that this extra work is a necessity. "For our brands to thrive in the new media world, we have to put a lot of effort into content creation and content curation," said Jim Lyski, chief marketing officer at Scotts Miracle-Gro, a garden products company.

And he noted that, having done so, "the ads are remembered and break through and are considered highly relevant". Lyski added that consumers "are almost volunteering to watch" these commercials as they fit into the context of the programmes on air.

Land Rover is another brand utilising this approach. Kim McCullough, its brand vice president, said: "We're looking for extended partnerships that can provide content throughout the year, not only on TV but also online, and give us content for social media."

The auto marque has employed a Travel Channel host to appear in a series entitled "Travel Channel's Road to the Unexpected", featuring Land Rovers being driven in locations such as Bolivia, Britain, Jamaica and Quebec.

"When you co-create with Travel Channel, they bring the perspective of their consumers to the project and help us begin a dialogue with them," said Danielle Koffer, managing director for client leadership at Mindshare in New York.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff