Bloomberg’s business-focused TV outlet will offer viewers something they may not always be accustomed to seeing from the cable network: a bit of Madison Avenue pizzazz at sunrise.
When the network’s morning program, “Bloomberg Go,” starts Monday morning, viewers will see a new “green room” festooned with the trappings of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the software and technology-services company that was spun off from the venerable Hewlett Packard last year. As such, the network joins some of its rivals in TV’s frenetic morning-news scrum in letting advertisers gain a seat, of sorts, at their news desk.
“We were thinking of innovative things we could do with the show to make it interesting,” recounted Paul Caine, global chief revenue and client partnerships officer at Bloomberg Media, in an interview. “What if we made the green room more of a character on the show, made it part of the studio, if you will, started doing more within the green room to bring the excitement of the guests who are appearing?”
“Go” launched in October as part of a bid by Bloomberg Media, the division of Bloomberg LP that caters to the broader business-news audience beyond the company’s core Wall Street crowd, to make a more distinctive mark for its offerings early in the day. The show, hosted by Stephanie Ruhle and former ABC News president David Westin, aims to talk about more than corporate earnings and stock movements and instead cultivate deep thinking from CEOs and policy makers.
Others have tested these waters. Toyota sponsors the green room and other elements of CBS morning-news program “CBS This Morning,” while coffee-chain Starbucks has long been aligned with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Hewlett Packard Enterprise has signed a one-year deal for the “Go” green room, said Susan Popper, the company’s senior vice president of experience marketing and brand, in responses to questions sent via email, “with a view to extending and evolving it based on performance.” Bloomberg’s Caine said the company expected the deal to last over a long term.
Bloomberg’s alliance may bear added significance, because the cable network is not rated by Nielsen and has not been since it launched in 1994. To capture ad dollars, the network may have to be more flexible and innovative in the agreements it concocts. Its rival, NBCUniversal’s CNBC, stopped using Nielsen for its daytime news programming in the fourth quarter of last year. Both networks have a significant audience base that watches from work or other out-of-home positions, and as such, is not picked up by the measurement service.
As more viewers untether themselves from a home TV screen using mobile devices, advertisers are considering new types of alliances. “We think that cross-device measurement is more indicative of impressions when you’re talking about a business-audience who is inherently mobile in nature and consumes a lot of their news from a business environment,” said Popper, the HPE marketing executive.
In April, Bloomberg unveiled a three-year pact with Hyundai Motor Co. to create a 25-episode-per-year series called “Brilliant Ideas,” centered around profiles of exciting art personalities. Each half-hour episode profiles a luminary in the world of art.
The typical Bloomberg consumer is “a very affluent, very senior, very highly educated leader, and it’s typically not a Nielsen household,” said Caine. “Our demographic is a very hard one to reach.”
Under terms of the deal, logos and graphic elements representing Hewlett Packard Enterprise will be featured throughout the “Go” green room and on its furnishings, as well as on what Bloomberg calls “artistic wall treatments” (a rendering of the new green room, which was under construction as recently as this weekend, appears in the picture above). Three large-screen HD television sets will boast HPE-produced motion graphics, and Bloomberg TV will run brief “billboards” during commercial breaks to remind viewers that HPE is a sponsor of the program.
The company will on its Bloomberg.com web site host a series of digital shorts sponsored by the advertiser. The features will run under the title “Inspire Go,” and will boast candid green-room interviews with guests conducted after their TV appearances.
What if Hewlett Packard Enterprise becomes news during the show on which it sponsors the news? “We are a news organization and always report on the news fairly and accurately,” said Caine. “Whatever the news is of HPE that emerges, I assure you Bloomberg will be covering them with the same measure of editorial integrity and insight that we would have with or without them as partners.”