Seven Allfronts: Amplifi, Zenith & Starcom on Seven in 2019

• Can Seven remain #1, challenges facing MKR spinoff

Earlier this month media buyers from Amplifi and Starcom reported on the Nine Upfront event for Mediaweek. At the end of last week they also attended the Seven Allfronts event.

Joining Amplifi’s Ashley Earnshaw and Starcom’s Toby Barbour at the Seven event was Zenith’s Anthony Ellis.

Mediaweek’s agency team will be reporting later this week after the Network Ten Upfront.

 Anthony Ellis, Chief Investment Officer, Zenith

Anthony Ellis

The Seven lineup is consistent and strong, combining proven product with some new formats. This content is underpinned by the very solid backbone of premium sport that underpins the entire calendar year, creating a great platform to promote their content.

The strategy of creating various versions of successful formats like My Kitchen Rules is not new and it is true that it hasn’t always worked in the past. That said, I believe that a format that is likely to contain past winners or favourite contestants will provide Seven with positive results in the back quarter of next year. The fact that MKR is locally produced and already has long-term sponsors will also help drive premium revenue.

My initial thoughts on the Seven and News partnership, with limited detail, is that any partnership that provides greater results for clients is attractive. The challenge with cross-company partnerships is always how the revenue is divided.

The launch of 7Food Network will be very appealing for the right advertisers. The challenge for Seven is that the launch will also come with expected budget growth and, while the television market is showing steady growth, it still means more inventory to sell.

Scale is important for Seven. However, I would say consistency across the year in the right demographics is key.

Toby Barbour, CEO, Starcom Australia

Twelve consecutive years deserve respect and Seven did deliver on its promise to strengthen the second half 2018 schedule with audience growth. However, I think 2019 will be a fascinating battle and, if ever Nine were going to take the lead, it’s in 2019.

Seven will once again rely on sport as the spine to combine with news, MKR and Home & Away as the base foundation for audience stability.

Event highlights for me included:

• Number One News with launch of 7news.com.au is good.
• Navigate Auto: It’s certainly interesting for our auto brands Inchcape (Subaru, PCA and Trivett) with also Fiat Chrysler Australia. More interesting is the alliance with News to create this vertical solution: is it a sign of the future?
• Cricket: I was underwhelmed – no new technology or benefits for the viewing experience. The brand’s sponsorship board is impressive, with a balanced commentary team and good community integration. The women’s sport promotion with T20 Internationals is great but I expected more on the product itself.
• I question the strength of Seven’s slate with new content launches: The Super Switch vs MAFS, The Proposal vs The Bachelor. I’m really not sure here.
• MKR 10th Anniversary will be a winner, again.
• 7Food Network is a significant announcement and will take time to build audience.

The overall brand integration opportunities across the slate are a question for me versus Nine, and what is the clear solution of Powered?

Seven has the No. 1 BVOD platform with 7Plus, but I’m less convinced of its addressability solution and data story, with 3.7 million UIDs. It will be interesting to watch in 2019 with 7 million UIDs at 9Now.

Overall Seven had a very different performance from Nine – it was less slick and the messages less clear. However, 12 years as No. 1 does deserve respect, and 2019 will be close!

Ashley Earnshaw, Chief Investment Officer, Amplifii ANZ

Seven demonstrated a solid lineup of tried and tested formats coupled with the new formats, as well as cricket, for our clients into 2019.

There is no doubt that the schedule retains the attractiveness for clients’ television investment.

Regarding catch-up, it would have been positive to see more of future plans for targeting and for cross-screen execution across their assets base including 7Plus.

For agencies there is demand to see more detail in the roadmap for automated buying, to deliver further execution stability and to remove the friction from the buying process.

Seven’s content was covered in depth and we are clear on the programs to access for our advertisers in 2019. They seemed to have most of our clients’ valued demographics covered off across reality, drama, sport and lifestyle.

MKR into Q4 will give more stability to their back half, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough year-on-year to give growth.

It was interesting to see the joint venture between Seven and News Corp with their go to market for Navigate Auto.

This will couple the benefits of platform reach, the multiplier effect for our auto clients’ campaigns, enable improved strategic asset use while also adding in exclusivity in category.

Navigate Auto points towards the future for the market to collaborate and compete with new and existing global competitors.

The 7Food Network launch across all their asset base will be interesting to watch and maybe could lead to more joint ventures should Auto with News Corp prove mutually beneficial.

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