Kevin KrimMay 15, 20234 min read

Dispatches from the Upfronts – Day 2

Tuesday morning sizzled with TelevisaUnivision and the afternoon wrapped with Disney Advertising. And in-between were top-to-top meetings across NYC. Thank you to all the EDO partners who showed up for some great dialogue. Unsurprisingly, streaming, sports, data – and moving music – continued to be the advertiser and agency highlights of the day. So let’s dive in…

Watching a soccer game – I mean an Upfronts presentation – in English is not the same as watching it in Spanish.

From the jump, TelevisaUnivision’s up-tempo tones had our entire team ready for más! Alejandra Espinoza and Donna Speciale stole the show with not just their style, but with their compelling call-to-action for our industry. Univision’s stats celebrated “the power of our community, culture, and content” – citing 110+ brands getting general market results by investing in US Hispanic audiences. Brands like Expedia, Fetch Rewards, Wells Fargo, and Hyundai all lent their voices to the rising chorus. Most compelling was Hyundai CMO Angela Zepeda who touted doubling results by adding Spanish language to the automaker’s media mix. As a Univision exec stated, “If you’re not reaching the fastest growing audience, you may as well be on mute.”

And no surprise, center to the Univision story were live events, sports, and streaming — Viva ViX! Seeing soccer legends on-screen and on-stage was ELECTRIC — but even more exciting? In 2024 Univision will be expanding from Fútbol to …Football! In 2024 Univision will be broadcasting the Super Bowl LVIII en Español. Now those are some engagement scores (and on-air commentating) EDO can’t wait to see. Fieldgoooooooooooooaaaaaaalllllll!

And EDO data backs the power of US Hispanics. Tentpole events on Univision have proven to be strong drivers of consumer engagement for ALL advertisers. Viewers of the 2023 Premio Lo Nuestro music awards were 54% more engaged with ads during the program than ads on English-language primetime programs, while viewers of the 2022 Latin Grammy Awards were 38% more engaged. Putting that into engaged-reach context  – a SINGLE ad during the 2023 Premio Lo Nuestro had the same total impact as 6.4 English-language primetime ads. 

But beyond the expected emphasis on streaming – one key theme was apparent – the picture is incomplete without the right data. Univision actually cited that up to 40% of US Hispanics are missing from 3rd party data sets – so we were excited to hear about Univision’s Hispanic Household Data Graph – which as a partner of Univision, EDO is excited to dive deeper into. 

Love sports, data, and magic? Disney does not disappoint.

After a day full of meetings – thousands headed to the west side to see what Disney would bring to the stage. As the lights dimmed Harrison Ford’s force boomed, “A few times in my life I’ve seen things I couldn’t explain” as familiar faces flashed before our eyes — from Abbott Elementary to Wrexham, from Bluey to Baby Yoda, from Grey’s Anatomy to Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt summed it up best – “If you ever feel lost, just look into the eyes of the people that you love.” With unforgettable characters and scenes from across Disney+, Hulu, ABC, ESPN, and FX – we were all instantly connected to the magic that only Disney can bring. 

Rita Ferro, Disney’s President of Advertising inspired with a challenge to the advertising audience to go beyond powerful storytelling and support diverse storytellers. With a marketplace at the doorstep of massive transformation, Rita drove home the streaming power of advertising on Disney+ and Hulu, citing healthy performance growth. With EDO recently being announced as a partner in Disney’s award-winning tech stack, we’re excited to help our friends at Disney define what streaming advertising performance and success look like. 

Sports inevitably took center court – with Serena Williams and Donovan “Spida” Mitchell. ESPN’s Elle Duncan welcomed Pat McAfee to the ESPN family. And ESPN’s Hanna Storm showed the power of women’s sports –  with Breanna Stewart (NY Liberty) and Angel Reese (LSU) continuing the call for advertisers to lead the change. Monday Night Football and the NCAA’s biggest matchups were next, with Troy Aikman, Damar Hamlin, and Peyton Manning speaking to the powerful performance of sports – which EDO data supports. In 2022, viewers were 37% more engaged with ads during primetime live sports on ABC than ads on the average primetime network. 

As the sports stars left the stage, EDO’s geeks (myself included) were excited to see Marvel and Star Wars take the stage. Kevin Feige and Kathleen Kennedy let those of us in the room see some MCU + Star Wars sneak peeks that the stream-at-home audience had to miss (teaser: they were very exciting). Want to know more? These aren’t the droids you’re looking for – but we can’t wait to show you the Disney+ data. This is the way.

Finally, the Kardashians, Stefanopolous, Strahan, and Seacrest shared even more about the power of Disney’s biggest unscripted performers – from The Bachelor to The Oscars, to all the streaming greats in between. According to EDO data, The Bachelor on ABC was the #1 primetime broadcast entertainment program of 2022 in driving engagement for advertisers, outperforming the primetime broadcast average by 30%. And the 2023 Oscars on ABC? ONE Oscar’s ad unit delivered the same engagement impact as 13 (yes, THIRTEEN) spots running in broadcast prime. And then there was a Shogun battle in the room. 

But like the Upfronts, this post is getting too long, and I’ve got another party — I mean, an important industry networking event — to get to. AND a gauntlet of big brand and agency meetings to prepare for tomorrow. And then the home stretch: the Warner Brothers Discovery, YouTube, AND Netflix Upfronts. So we’ll see you tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel…


Know What Works. Always.

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