TikTok, Meta, Vevo announce new ad products and planning tools on NewFronts’ final day

On the final day of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2023 NewFronts, social media and video platforms TikTok, Meta and Vevo announced new ad products and media planning tools, while Condé Nast showcased its exclusive access to popular live events.

The key details:

  • Meta brings AR ads to Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and Facebook Stories
  • Brands can now buy ads on specific publishers’ TikTok content
  • One of the few publishers presenting at the NewFronts this year, Condé Nast promoted live event coverage
  • Vevo announced new ad tools and products, and teased its branded content studio
  • Read Digiday’s briefings on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of the NewFronts, if you missed them

Meta came to the NewFronts – but forgot the metaverse

When Meta took the stage on Thursday, executives spent plenty of time talking about the growth of Reels across Instagram and Facebook and how the company is integrating AI into various ad products. The company also touted the growth of its creator marketplace, which competes with one TikTok announced last fall and another that Snap announced at its own NewFront earlier this week. However, there was that “M” word that nobody used: “Metaverse.”

During its NewFronts event, Meta pitched a number of new ad products for marketers. Along with a new way to pause a Reel ad for in-app reviews — and ways for users to swipe through multiple product images within the same Reels ad — the company also announced it’s bringing augmented reality ads to Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and Facebook Stories. The expanded AR ads offering follows Meta’s introduction of AR ads last fall for Instagram’ news feed and Stories, all pretty similar to what Snapchat has had for years as a pioneer of AR based advertising.

Brands can now buy ads in publishers’ TikTok content

TikTok announced a new ad offering to brands at its closed-door NewFront presentation on Thursday. The offering, called Pulse Premiere, will let advertisers buy ads placed directly after videos from TikTok’s publisher and media partners in over a dozen categories (such as lifestyle, sports, entertainment and education). The Wall Street Journal reported publishers will get a 50% cut.

For now, brands can only buy ads next to content from publishers including Buzzfeed, Condé Nast, DotDash Meredith, Hearst Magazines, NBCUniversal and Vox Media, as well as Major League Soccer, UFC and WWE.

Ads can also be bought on TikTok across publishers’ content tied to tentpole events and advertisers can run evergreen campaigns to reach publishers’ audiences.

David Cohen, IAB’s CEO, said only about 100 people were invited to TikTok’s NewFront session. The event was closed to the media, but a TikTok spokesperson provided information on the Pulse Premiere ad offering. 

Samba TV CMO Meredith Brace shared results onstage of a recent partnership with TikTok, where the measurement provider’s tools were used to study over 30 of TikTok’s tune-in campaigns. Samba TV found that 97% of TikTok campaigns drove incremental viewership from households that would not have otherwise watched the program, with an average tune-in lift of 159%. Households that tuned in after being exposed to TikTok’s tune-in ads watched each program for an average of 86 minutes – 26% higher than unexposed audiences, according to Samba TV. 

However, advertisers and publishers considering TikTok Pulse might also want to consider the quality of TikTok traffic, according to the CHEQ, an Israeli cybersecurity firm that helps companies detect and mitigate fake traffic. When it analyzed 30 million site visits originating from TikTok in first three months of the year, CHEQ found 8.5% of global TikTok-based traffic to customer websites was likely invalid, such as from bots, scrapers, or click farms.

The company — which tested the traffic by running several thousand real-time security challenges to determine if visitors were legitimate or malicious — also found that fake traffic accounted for 9.6% of U.S.-based TikTok traffic. (CHEQ has conducted similar analyses of traffic on other social networks such as Twitter.)

Doubling down on live

Condé Nast was the only true publisher to present at the NewFronts this year. Gone are the days when other large digital media companies like BuzzFeed Inc. and Vice Media Group would throw splashy gatherings for marketers as part of the IAB’s event.

The legacy publisher focused the bulk of its presentation on live events, especially Vogue’s coverage of the Met Gala red carpet (exclusive to that publication), Vogue World, Vanity Fair’s coverage of the Oscars and GQ’s coverage of sports events like the Super Bowl. This September, Vogue World will take place in London and stream live, after debuting its tentpole fashion show and street fair in New York City last year.

There were 329 million global video views of the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party live coverage, up 80% year over year. Live coverage of the event also received about 2.2 billion social impressions, said Pam Drucker Mann, Condé Nast’s global chief revenue officer and president of U.S. revenue & APAC.

Condé Nast also pitched advertisers on new offerings including:

  • Inside Story, a custom branded video offering
  • Condé Nast Consulting, a new B2B service offering clients first-party insights and access to Condé Nast’s editors and creators
  • The company also announced a new global contributors’ network

The main pitch to advertisers: “Culture is the new KPI,” said Craig Kostelic, Condé Nast’s chief business officer of global commercial revenue. “When you align with culture… consumers follow.”

Condé Nast’s video content (not just live coverage) reached 14.8 billion views across all platforms, up 10% compared to the previous year, according to the company. On YouTube, Condé Nast has over 65 million subscribers, up 12% year over year. Those subscribers spend over 1.5 billion minutes each month consuming Condé Nast content. 

The company said Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, GQ’s 10 Essentials and AD’s Open Door drive over 700 million combined views annually. 

New ad opportunities around music videos and artists

Vevo, which positioned itself as a music video network during its pitch to marketers, announced new media planning tools and ad products and teased an upcoming branded content studio.

The Vevo Intelligence suite of tools “combines audience and viewership behavior, contextual and creative insights, along with brand campaign performance to create custom media opportunities,” said Aneessa Steilen, vp of media and distribution marketing at Vevo. The initial set of tools analyzes visual and audio content to match ads with music videos that have a similar “mood,” she added.

Steilen also demonstrated a music trivia Q&A ad product on FAST channels that advertisers can buy and embed their brand within the format.

Vevo’s branded content studio, called “On Set,” will offer advertisers the chance to pay to appear within live performances, behind the scenes videos and interviews with music artists.

Ten million people tuned into Grammy Awards programming on Vevo this year, according to Bindi Patel, agency partnership lead at Vevo. TV inventory is up 40% year over year, noted Kevin McGurn, Vevo’s president of sales and distribution.

Vevo closed out the event with a performance by Colombian music artist J Balvin.

Lack of privacy talk

Meta and Snap executives quoted Steve Jobs during the NewFronts this week – perhaps ironic coming from two of the biggest companies in ad-tech, especially considering how Jobs had advocated for protecting users’ information and offering transparency with their data — topics that were mostly nonexistent during this week’s presentations.

On Thursday, without mentioning Apple’s former CEO by name, Alvin Bowles, vp and president of global partnerships & engineering at Meta, said Meta helps give “people what they may not realize they wanted” — a strikingly similar line to when Jobs famously said people “don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” On Tuesday, Snap Americas President Rob Wilk cued up an update about Snapchat’s new chatbot by offering “just one more thing” — similar to how Jobs often ended his Apple keynotes.

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