×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCUniversal Content Studio Plucks Peacock TV Talent for Branded Video

NBCUniversal’s branded content offerings have thrived with campaigns tied to such Peacock hits as “This Is Us” and Today” as well as wholly original campaigns not connected to any NBCU properties. The company’s campaigns have ranged from emotional tributes to family fare to online comedy.

Many branded content studios aspire to the same success, but NBCU’s branded content operations have a secret weapon few of its rivals can match: It recruits talent from NBCU TV shows to staff branded content offerings.

“At NBC we have a team at the Content Studio that actually maps our organization, to help brands create original content by tapping into storytellers,” said Wendy Wildfeuer, senior VP of NBCUniversal’s Content Studio, on Thursday at the Brand Storytelling conference in Park City, Utah (co-located with the start of the Sundance Film Festival).

Later, Wildfeuer told Variety, “When we launched the Content Studio, we created a new capability where we actually are using showrunners, writers, directors, producers and what not to create brand content that’s not connected to their existing shows.”

Josh Feldman, executive VP, integrated marketing and network partnerships, told Variety, “We would be remiss not to tap into all of the talent across NBCU but to use them in a different way.”

Feldman and Wildfeuer, who presented together at the conference, oversee two different branded content units within NBCU. He oversees Network Partnerships; his unit works with brands to create branded content tied to NBC’s shows and intellectual property. Their presentation included two campaigns from his unit: A TJ Maxx campaign tied to “This is Us” and a State Farm campaign tied to “Today.”

The presentation also included a campaign for a yogurt brand not connected to any NBC show. That falls under Wildfeuer’s brief. She oversees the NBCU Content Studio proper, which creates bespoke content for advertisers for distribution online only.

Both of NBCU’s branded content units identify and reach out to talent from anywhere within NBCU that is a good fit for a brand campaign. No one is obligated to participate;. “There’s a benefit to (the talent),” says Wildfeuer, “because they actually get diversity in the work that they’re doing. We’ve found from our network leads that there’s a lot of interest.”

The NBCU Content Studio has an exclusive partnership with Broadway Video to create branded comedy, announced in April 2017. Broadway Video even created the studio’s pitch reel, an infomercial spoof. (pictured above)

Broadway Video’s independent subsidiary Above Average is also in the branded comedy video business and creates content for NBCU Content Studio. Above Average draws on current and former Saturday Night Live writers for its projects. At the conference, Above Average debuted a tongue-in-cheek “History of Branded Content.”

But NBCU Content Studio’s efforts to leverage its talent relationships extend beyond Lorne Michaels’ company, and beyond comedy.

Feldman emphasized, “The key word is story. If we don’t have great story, we’re never going to engage our consumers, and that’s what it’s all about.”

More TV

  • Nancy Wilson

    Nancy Wilson, Grammy Winning Jazz Singer and TV Personality, Dies at 81

    Nancy Wilson, one of the most revered jazz singers of the 20th century, has died at age 81, her manager told the Associated Press. The singer passed away at her home in Pioneertown, a small California community north of Palm Springs, after a long illness, according to manager Devra Hall. Wilson’s three Grammy awards spanned [...]

  • Emmys 2019 Rule Change Defines TV

    New Emmys Rules Define Television Movie Length

    The Television Academy announced new rules for the 2019 Emmys Thursday night, including setting the minimum length for qualifying television movies at 75 minutes. The rules changes also included the addition of an Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Underscore) award, and restructuring the choreography categories as follows: Outstanding Choreography [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    Eliza Dushku Received $9.5 Million Settlement Over Misconduct on 'Bull' Set

    Eliza Dushku received a $9.5 million settlement from CBS after the actress alleged she was the subject of several inappropriate comments on the set of “Bull,” according to the New York Times. Dushku appeared in the first season of the procedural, initially being brought on for a three-episode arc with plans to make her a [...]

  • Jingle Punks Jingle Player

    Jingle Punks at 10: How the Production Music Platform's Player Works

    Though its primary function is creative, Jingle Punks is built on a foundation of technology and administration. The patented Jingle Player that lets customers search for music using pop culture terms is both intuitive and efficient. Typing in “Reservoir Dogs” or “Starbucks” generates suggestions. Queries are monitored “so if there isn’t an exact match, we’ll suggest [...]

  • Star Trek: Discovery

    TV Roundup: 'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 2 Premiere Date Set at CBS All Access

    In today’s TV News Roundup, the premiere date is announced for season two of “Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS All Access. FIRST LOOKS “Relics and Rarities,” a new RPG series based on the classic game Dungeons & Dragons, will premiere on subscription service Alpha in February 2019. Hosted by Deborah Ann Woll (“Daredevil,” “True Blood”) [...]

  • Logan Lerman

    Logan Lerman in Talks to Star in Jordan Peele's 'The Hunt' at Amazon

    Jordan Peele’s upcoming Nazi hunter drama at Amazon, “The Hunt,” has potentially found its lead. Logan Lerman is in talks to star in the drama series as Jonah Heidelbaum. When his grandmother is slain by a mysterious intruder in their apartment, Jonah sets out to track the culprit, only to find himself swept up in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content