How NBCUniversal’s Peacock plans to go after Facebook and Google advertisers

NBCUniversal said it is trying to tap into the millions of smaller advertisers that typically buy media on Google and Meta’s Facebook to get them spending on its connected TV app Peacock.

To do that, NBCU recently launched a self-serve ad manager with tvScientific, with the goal of attracting performance marketers—not just the big brands that are the usual TV buyers, said Jason Fairchild, CEO of tvScientific, the connected TV ad platform.

“What we’re doing is really going after the top 20% or so of Google and Facebook advertisers who largely have not participated in TV,” Fairchild said.

Dubbed Peacock Ad Manager, it enables advertisers to set up ad campaigns that run on desktops, mobile devices and connected TVs. The idea for the ad server is to make buying Peacock ads similar to how small- and medium-size businesses order ads online, especially on the major platforms like Google and Facebook, which also have self-serve ad managers. Meta, for instance, has more than 10 million advertisers, which is a far deeper bench of marketers than TV usually reaches.

The connected TV space is growing with services like NBCU’s Peacock, Disney’s Hulu, Amazon’s Freevee, Paramount+, Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max, Roku and more. Most of the major streaming services are participating in this week’s NewFronts ad sales conference through the Interactive Advertising Bureau. During Peacock’s presentation today, the brand announced its new content slate, including next-day run of Bravo shows and a deal with Lionsgate. 

In recent months, NBCU has been promoting its One21 ad tech and data platform, which already connects to outside demand-side platforms [DSPs]. Advertisers use about a dozen third-party DSPs to run automated ad campaigns inside of Peacock. The Peacock Ad Manager is the pathway now owned by NBCU, which will launch in the second half of this year.

“This collaboration will allow us to unlock advanced targeting, performance insights, and attribution for the many advertisers who don’t have existing DSP relationships,” said Krishan Bhatia, NBCU’s president and chief business officer, in the announcement, “which is an important step in our continuing efforts to support a much broader set of marketers and have them benefit from the brand and sales lift that only NBCUniversal can provide.”

The Peacock Ad Manager will “make NBCU’s streaming portfolio available to the performance marketer community,” said Joe Cady, NBCU’s executive VP of strategic partnerships.

Performance marketers need highly targeted ads that lead to immediate goals, like generating downloads of apps or sales of products. It’s a different type of advertising than large brands pursue on TV, where often the goal is brand awareness. Performance marketers have been having a tougher time online due to new data-sharing restrictions on Apple, Google and other platforms. Apple, especially, has limited the amount of tracking that apps can do, which makes it more difficult to target and measure ads. Connected TV players are trying to introduce automation, targeting and measurement that could fill the gap left in mobile marketing.

“There are millions and millions of advertisers that participate in search and social,” Cady said. “We will take it step by step here, and the first step is to make this available and be able to support a broader class of marketers.”