Intent and Impact: A New Measurement for DEI

James Ambalathukal Director, Strategy & Insights, Magid

Mike Bloxham EVP, Global Media & Entertainment, Magid

Mike Bloxham and James Ambalathukal of Magid partnered with twelve networks and streaming services in a study to identify factors of cultural authenticity in drama, comedy and unscripted programs. With research into the creative elements that resonate with diverse populations from qualitative studies and online surveys, Mike and James described the importance of authenticity in how audiences relate to emotional content, how they see themselves in the content and ultimately, how they perceive the content itself. The various levels of signals that diverse audiences assess as good or bad representation include storytelling components and physical production elements, which help separate out what drives positive and negative perceptions of these shows for actionable results. Key takeaways:
  • There are different levels of expectations with different genres. Sitcoms and reality content without representation can connect to audiences if relatable character journeys and storylines are present. Projecting family and community values goes far. In dramas, applying specificity and non-verbal cultural details on the set or in a character, like authentic hair and wardrobe, even if not part of the narrative, is a driver of authentic representation. Other kinds of content like adult animated shows, news programming and sports are not viewed through a DEI lens.
  • Marginalized communities value representation but don’t want to be reduced to just the racial and ethnic parts of their identity.
  • Effective representation is strongly connected to perceptions of authenticity.
  • Authenticity isn’t just a preference; it has real impact on content engagement.
  • Story elements influencing perceptions of authenticity share similarities and differences across various cohorts.

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Navigating the Evolving Media Landscape

  • OTT 2023

The media landscape continues to evolve, arguably at a faster rate than ever. Leading media and measurement experts presented research-based insights on how viewers use different forms of TV/video on various platforms. Attendees joined us at the Warner Bros. Discovery Studios in California and via livestream to understand the latest data and discussions of the data’s implications.

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Concurrent Track Panel Discussions: AUDIENCE-DRIVEN TRENDS IN MEDIA

Britta Cleveland of Meredith Corporation provided an overview of the themes from the Audience-Driven Trends in Media track. Advertising is alive and flourishing, but there are opportunities for improvement in creative, as well as how and where it runs. Streaming VOD is growing exponentially, and both ad supported and paid content are growing. Global entertainment opportunities are expanding. Additionally, the pandemic led to changes in how consumers make their choices, and supply chain pressures increased. This idea of intentionalism is something we are all feeling. During the past two years, everything changed.

Is Hollywood Losing its Influence Over Global Audiences?

Foreign language programming is increasing, especially for TV; however, English-language content still dominates for movies, explained Digital I’s Matt Ross.

Global trends in Netflix viewing have demonstrated the increasing acceptance of non-English language content. Only two of the top 10 global Netflix longest-running hit shows are English language TV content. Half of the most-viewed content to ever launch on Netflix was from non-English language dramas.

Welcome to the Age of Intentionalism

The 2020 pandemic broke time, and this is still happening in 2022. Warner Media’s Mukta Chowdhardy explained that the pandemic caused consumers to focus on intentionality and making mindful decisions.

Attention Everywhere

The NBA tested an attention metric for digital media ad placements developed by Adelaide–called the AU–to increase tune-in to the NBA Finals and to improve its brand metrics. They leveraged the AUs of their CTV and digital placements to optimize a large campaign across CTV, digital, social, and OOH with over two billion video impressions. They also used the AUs, which they obtain in near real-time, to adjust those placements in-flight. They found that AUs lifted their KPIs and will incorporate them into their media mix models. Adelaide is also working with TVision to get AUs for linear television by daypart and genre. Their tune-in data was provided by SambaTV.

Evidence-Based Research for Effective Marketing

On November 9, 2022, industry leaders joined us to share highlights from EffWorks Global 2022 — a week-long celebration of the best new thinking and evidence-based decision-making research for marketing effectiveness. Topics of discussion included: marketing in the post-Covid economy, effective advertising in unprecedented times, the value of Share of Voice/Share of Attention/Share of Search in terms of effectiveness and commercial decision making, and more.

Optimizing TV Promotion with Data, a Case Study with Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) worked with Civis Analytics (CA) to optimize their TV programming promotions over 30 U.S. networks that premieres dozens of seasons annually across a diverse linear TV portfolio. Max Schuman explained how CA’s approach blended classic marketing mix model (MMM)’s regression models with machine learning’s (ML) ability to discern relationships that best predict outcomes humans can’t see easily. With a custom model that was able to guide decision-making on several levels—what TV series to promote, how and where to market, and what ROI to expect—WBD used CA’s platform as a starting point for all media decisions throughout the full funnel, inclusive of owned and paid media.

Unlocking Reach in Premium Content

NBCU’s Mike Levin and Emily Kwok tested brand safety in premium video content from a viewer perspective in their research using NBCU’s proprietary AI tech for automating brand safety and suitability decision making. The study’s three objectives asked whether increasingly violent episodes influence viewers’ experiences, if they then assign blame to marketers for knowingly advertising in explicit or violent content, and if there are specific instances where adjacency affects viewer sentiment towards an ad.