Ignited Wins Digital Planning, Buying for NBCU TV Group

El Segundo, Calif. agency Ignited has won digital media planning and buying duties for the NBC Universal Television Group, an account that includes all shows and branding efforts for the NBC broadcast network as well as Sci Fi Channel, Bravo, USA and other stations.
Billings are estimated at $35-40 million.

The account review consisted of a written round and two in-person meetings, one in New York and one in Los Angeles. Tribal DDB and Spark Communications were other agencies believed to have made it to the final round of the review, which occurred in late October. Chicago-based Spark, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group, was NBC Universal’s incumbent digital agency for the TV account.

Ignited’s vp digital media Dave Martin pointed to his agency’s strategic planning and understanding of audience segmentation as key strengths in winning the account.

“One comment was that we took into account real-world events such as the election and how that would impact keyword demand for paid search,” Martin said. The agency’s ability to harness the power of influencers and social media, which it has proven by creating successful campaigns as the digital agency for Universal’s film and home entertainment businesses over the past few years, may have been a factor. “We don’t use social media just for the sake of social media,” Martin said, making a distinction between hype and brand building. “Agencies use a lot of buzzwords, and social media is definitely one that gets overused.”

Ignited’s record for “responsible risk-taking” in an iffy market was also a plus said Anne-Marie Schaffer, executive vp, media at the agency. “That’s something that differentiates us,” she said.

Alerting viewers to NBC’s shifting show duties and time slots for late-night hosts Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien will be among the first assignments, as will branding efforts for the net’s Monday night (Superstars of Dance, Momma’s Boys) and Thursday night (30 Rock, The Office) lineups.

NBC Universal declined to comment for the story.

Other Ignited clients include Sony Electronics Latin America, EA Mobile and the U.S. Army.