×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Viacom Pitches Marketing Services With Ad Time in Upfront Talks

Viacom may be known best for its cable networks, but the company responsible for Trevor Noah, SpongeBob Squarepants and a revival of “The Jersey Shore” hopes Madison Avenue will soon recognize it for something else.
As the company makes the rounds of media-buying agencies in advance of TV’s annual “upfront” sales session, executives are touting a growing array of marketing services Viacom can also provide.
“We are not looking at our relationship with marketers as starting with ‘What’s your ad budget?’ but ‘What’s your issue?’ ‘What are you trying to solve for?’ And then we can offer a basket of solutions,” said Sean Moran, head of marketing and partner solutions for Viacom, in an interview.
The company made two recent acquisitions that help bolster its efforts. Its January purchase of WhoSay, an influencer-marketing agency, and its February purchase of event agency VidCon give Viacom more heft in delivering everything from shopper marketing to branded content.
Viacom has also worked out new agreements with some of its distributors that allow for it to sell a greater amount of digital media inventory to advertisers, said Moran.
“This is a complete marketing solutions approach, rather than just an ad sales approach,” he said.
Viacom may be under new pressure to demonstrate the value of its TV operations. It’s no secret the company grappled for several months with ratings drops at some of its flagship networks, and it is currently in the midst of a wrestling match with CBS Corp. over terms of a potential merger. Both companies are controlled by the Redstone family’s National Amusements, which has directed the two to explore a merger. CBS has suggested a price well below what Viacom thinks it deserves.
As well executives visit with agencies, they are pitching new activity at several Viacom networks. The recently launched Paramount Network is being described as a place for premium content and experimental ad formats, for instance. Executives are also touting ratings growth at VH-1 and a revived “Jersey Shore” series at MTV.
Late night TV continues to win interest from advertisers, and Moran suggested his team would win new attention for an ongoing expansion of MTV’s “TRL” into the daypart. “We will offer the youngest possible audience in that late night time frame,” Moran said, and package that with Comedy Central’s late-night schedule.
Moran said he felt current demand from
advertisers was robust, which could augur a healthy upfront. “The demand that we’ve been seeing let’s us know it will be an active marketplace and there probably will be more demand than supply,” he added.

More TV

  • Jussie Smollett Assult Fake

    Jussie Smollett: News of Dropped Charges Draws Strong Reactions on Both Sides

    The news that the charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett have been dropped drew strong reactions on both sides of the issue online Tuesday. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon The official Twitter account of the “Empire” writers’ room celebrated the news, [...]

  • Jean Francois Helene Etzi

    Disney's French Chief Jean-Francois Camilleri Exiting, Helene Etzi Upped

    Jean-Francois Camilleri is leaving Disney after more than 30 years and will replaced as the head of its French operation by Helene Etzi. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon Sources said Camilleri’s departure was his own decision. He announced his exit on [...]

  • Sal Petruzzi, Turner's U.S. Communications Chief,

    Sal Petruzzi, Turner's U.S. Communications Chief, to Step Down

    Sal Petruzzi, who has supervised U.S. communications outreach for the Turner suite of media businesses, will step down from the role as the unit, once part of Time Warner, is making a transition under the ownership of AT&T. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of [...]

  • 'Empire' TV series actor Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Says He Was 'Truthful On Every Level Since Day One' After Charges Dropped

    After his lawyer confirmed that charges against him have been dropped, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett gave a statement in which he said he has been “truthful and consistent on every level from day one.” Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon “This has [...]

  • DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE

    Khalid to Join Kane Brown for Duets-Heavy ACM Awards Telecast

    Khalid, the R&B singer whose sophomore album comes out April 5, will be taking to the airwaves two nights later to collaborate with country star Kane Brown in a performance that’s been announced for the Academy of Country Music Awards. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    Tiffany Haddish to Produce Stand Up Comedy Series for Netflix

    Tiffany Haddish has partnered with Netflix to curate a new stand up comedy series. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon The series is titled “Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready,” which will introduce a diverse group of six up-and-coming stand-up comedians doing half-hour [...]

  • Jussie Smollett court

    Jussie Smollett Claims Vindication as All Charges Dropped

    In a stunning reversal, Chicago prosecutors agreed Tuesday to drop all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who had been accused of staging a fake hate crime. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office issued a brief [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content