Hi and welcome to the Insider Advertising newsletter. I'm Lucia Moses, deputy editor, and this week in advertising and media news:
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First up: Don't miss our webinar this Thursday on the future of ad targeting featuring execs from Mars Petcare, The Trade Desk, R/GA, and The Washington Post. Details here.
Advertisers are banking on live events
HBO had to delay all-important screenings to promote "Lovecraft Country" last summer due to spikes in coronavirus cases.
This year, the entertainment giant found a pandemic-safe way to promote its content, creating an interactive display, HBO Max Orbit, for the virtual SXSW Festival and select AT&T stores.
Events are a significant part of many marketers' budgets, and many of them are ready to jump back into live events as communities reopen, Patrick Coffee reports.
But spending is unlikely to approach pre-pandemic levels, and health risks remain a big concern.
Some marketers are, variously, seeking exit clauses to avoid a repeat of last year's losses, and plan to make virtual events a part of their approach.
"We ended up losing a ton of money with things that had to be cancelled and other unseen costs," Colleen Bisconti, VP of events and conferences at IBM, told Patrick.
Read the rest here: Big brands like IBM and HBO lay out how they're betting on live events as pandemic restrictions ease up
TV advertising goes digital
Extreme Reach, a company that helps brands buy and plan TV and video ads, is acquiring rival Adstream, in hopes of giving clients a competitive advantage.
Behind the news:
- Advertisers are increasingly looking to buy TV ads with digital-like precision.
- The Adstream acquisition follows other TV adtech deals, like Comcast's acquisition of Beeswax last year and Magnite's agreement to acquire SpotX in February.
- Companies that help marketers buy and measure their TV advertising are seen as acquisition targets and growth in adtech stocks, SPACs, and private equity have fueled interest in adtech.
Omnicom's data play
Ad giant Omnicom Group created a new data-driven marketing unit, Omni Health, aimed at healthcare clients like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, Tanya Dua reports.
Key things to know:
- Agencies have souped up their data tools in recent years to help advertisers precisely target people and fend off consultancies like Accenture Interactive and Deloitte.
- Omnicom for its part says it's spent tens of millions of dollars to build Omni Health.
- Advertising agencies are making a big play for healthcare ad dollars, one of the few areas of ad spending that's held up in the pandemic.
- But Omnicom has plenty of competition from other ad and PR firms like IPG and W2O that are making similar bets.
Read more: Omnicom is trying to cash in on healthcare advertising with a new data tool for clients like Pfizer and Merck
Other stories we're reading:
- YouTube tells brands 'let's get seasonal' in NewFronts pitch (AdAge)
- Apple finally redesigned the Apple TV remote that everyone hated (Insider)
- Netflix's top TV exec explains how she bounced back after getting fired from her dream job (Insider)
- Anna Wintour predicts lockdown easing will unleash demand for luxury goods (FT)
- Audio takes off during the pandemic (Axios)
- Ari Emanuel Takes on the World (The New Yorker)
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!