×
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

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Karen Kovacs, Time Inc. Veteran, Named Exec VP of Client Partnerships at NBCU Ad Sales “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Karen Kovacs, Time Inc. Veteran, Named Exec VP of Client Partnerships at NBCU Ad Sales The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Karen Kovacs, Time Inc. Veteran, Named Exec VP of Client Partnerships at NBCU Ad Sales FIRST LOOKS [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Karen Kovacs, Time Inc. Veteran, Named Exec VP of Client Partnerships at NBCU Ad Sales The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Related Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom Karen Kovacs, Time Inc. Veteran, Named Exec VP of Client Partnerships at NBCU Ad Sales Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content