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More local content, more advertising opportunities – TVNZ’s pitch to advertisers

On the back of TVNZ’s announcement of its 2022 line-up via virtual Showcase, StopPress sat down with the network’s Commercial Director, Jodi O’Donnell, for a discussion on what the proliferation of digital, OnDemand and local content means for advertisers.

What makes TVNZ’s content (especially local content) stand out from competitors in a growing market? 

The breadth and depth of our content offering is a strong focus for TVNZ – we want our content to reach all of Aotearoa, however they are watching. Our NZ identity is also a core part of what drives and differentiates TVNZ, we are committed to reflecting the stories of Kiwis on our screens. Alongside a really diverse content offering, our cross platform approach is what makes us New Zealand’s most watched network.

Why such a big push for more local content/ formats – what do viewership trends point to?

We know New Zealanders love watching their own stories on screen, our local content resonates strongly with viewers. It’s important to TVNZ to tell these uniquely Kiwi stories, and in an increasingly fragmented market it’s a key point of difference for us. There are also so many more opportunities for our advertising partners to integrate within local content so not only do we know our viewers want to watch TVNZ local formats, New Zealand businesses also can benefit from this trend.

OnDemand seems to be a big focus for TVNZ, why? Why not just push content to new free-to-air channels? 

While broadcast television still makes up the majority of our audience, we also can see that audiences are moving to digital viewing options. TVNZ OnDemand is growing exponentially – we’re now reaching one million viewers a week on TVNZ OnDemand. We know the future is digital. We’re planning for how we can continue to deliver for our audience in the future, and we are focused on leading the way in the digital migration – our job now is to grow our online audience faster than tv audiences decline. The development of our new IP platform is a multi-year project, but we’re really excited about what it can offer viewers.

Talk to me about Re: is TVNZ seeing big growth in custom content and sponsored content opportunities within its local content?

Re: offers a unique perspective and their content is consumed by harder to reach youth audiences. For brands, engaging with these potential consumers in an authentic way is crucial – it provides a unique advertising service focused on partnering and bespoke content creation. Re: collaborates with advertisers on how to tell stories in ways that are engaging for young people.

Jodi O’Donnell.

What does this kind of sponsorship offer advertisers that’s different from let’s say a 30 second spot? 

There are so many options for advertisers to share their brands stories outside of the 30 sec spot. TVNZ Blacksand partnerships work with advertisers in the content creation space like ASB Backing Business or Xero Business Updates, or there is in-show integration like Tim Tams in Celebrity Treasure Island, or Toyota in the Americas Cup. We can develop innovative formats such as My Food Bag Menu Boards to partner funded new show ideas, like newly developed local show Cooks on Fire. And let’s not forget about all of the weekly opportunities within Breakfast and Seven Sharp where we can bring to life community stories, such as New World delivering kindness with supermarket vouchers, or showcasing our own backyard with Tourism New Zealand’s campaign to ‘do something new’ New Zealand.

Across TVNZ channels and platforms we’re focused on providing a range of solutions for advertisers to engage with customers. While the traditional ad spot or sponsorship of a piece of content are proven and useful tools for advertisers, there are so many more options for brands these days. A lot of this can be seen in the integration space, but digital advertising has also become more immersive. TVNZ OnDemand provides options like ads on pause and interactive connected TV advertising where brands can become part of the viewing experience.

Do you have any stats to share around how your Dynamic Ad Insertion has performed since lunch last year? 

The live-streaming of TVNZ channels on TVNZ OnDemand has grown significantly. For the month of October, live streams were up 59 percent YOY (5.8M live streams). Live streams now account for 20 percent of the total TVNZ OnDemand streams each month.

Aside from your content opportunities, are there any new innovative formats you are working on/ planning, to create new ways for advertisers to connect with your audiences in 2022? 

TVNZ is excited to keep delivering innovative formats for our advertising partners. Be watching our new local version of LEGO® MASTERS in 2022 to see how we are working with our sponsor partner to bring their brand to life, in more relevant ways than ever before. TVNZ is also working on new ways to target high-quality data segments, providing more rich brand safe opportunities for our advertisers. TVNZ continues to enhance and extend data capabilities to meet advertiser needs.

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