NBCU Adds New Science to Art of Launching TV Shows Like ‘Night Court,’ ‘Quantum Leap’
By Brian Steinberg
When it comes to getting audiences to sample revivals of shows “Night Court” and “Quantum Leap,” NBCUniversal is leaving less of the task to chance.
In a different era, a network like NBC would run promos on its own air and be satisfied that those short vignettes urging viewers to try something new were reaching millions of people each day. In the streaming era, TV companies have to work harder.
NBC has teamed up with the measurement-technology firm VideoAmp to help it examine the effectiveness of its marketing for the shows it launches. Rather than relying primarily on linear promos, networks have moved more of their outreach to digital and social media, realizing they can leave no media type unexplored in their quest to find viewers.
“The reality is we have a lot of loyal viewers and some very strong viewership happening on linear. We also have a growing pool of strong viewing on digital,” says Brian West, senior vice president of data and measurement strategy at NBCU. “We need to find those people in many more places than we would have in the past.”
The VideoAmp initiative relies on a data set of more than 30 million homes and uses response to judge the effectiveness of promotions that appear on both linear and digital venues. The system will examine how a show promo appearing on YouTube or Instagram affected the viewership of that program on linear or digital. The new research methodology was used to help deploy promotions for the launches of “Night Court,” “Quantum Leap” and “Lopez vs. Lopez” in recent weeks.
“For NBCU Entertainment series campaigns such NBC’s ‘Night Court’ and Bravo’s ‘Below Deck Adventure,’ VideoAmp has allowed us to quantify the individual and collective impact of our marketing tactics,” said Dave Kaplan, senior vice president, entertainment research and decision sciences, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We now have considerable insight as we plan strategies for our wide array of shows.”
“VideoAmp has positively impacted our ability to measure the performance of our paid and owned media efforts, helping us deliver better plans to finding the right audiences,” said Kjerstin Beatty, executive vice president, media and multiplatform planning, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.
TV networks might use traditional promos, ads on local cable systems, digital advertising that might appear on venues ranging from YouTube to Amazon, says West. “We really wanted to be able to give our team a way to see how each of those strategies work and what it does most effectively.