Vizio Ads Kicks Off NewFronts With 3 New Ad Formats

The company declined to comment on its pending acquisition by Walmart

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Advertisers on Vizio can now buy ads to run when viewers hit pause, when the screen idles and on the smart TV’s home screen.

Those new ad formats, which the connected TV maker is announcing today during its 2 p.m. ET presentation at the 2024 NewFronts, are part of Vizio’s fourth annual appearance at the IAB’s technology- and streaming-focused week of ad sales events.

“One of the biggest opportunities that we have helped uncover, candidly, over the past two years, is what this home screen means to advertisers as a massive reach vehicle,” Adam Bergman, group vice president of advertising and data sales at Vizio, told ADWEEK. “There are not that many places in market where you can still go reach 15, 20, 25 million eyeballs in a day. Vizio Smart TV home screen is one of them.”

Shoppable ad slots

Vizio, which launched its ads business in 2019, is revealing three new categories of home screen content this year: Vizio Gaming, which debuted in February; the news-focused Always On Newsroom; and the Sports Hub, which is coming later this year. Interactive ad slots with QR codes to enable real-time purchasing will be available within each hub.

Pause ads with the same QR-code-enabled shoppability are now available on WatchFree+, the free ad-supported channel built into every Vizio Smart TV.

ACR data

The company is leveraging automated content recognition data to—among other things—inform a new “recommended” feature, which advertisers can place ads within. That feature kicks in when a screen goes to idle, offering recommendations for what to watch based on the user’s viewing habits, with a simple button that opens the relevant application and plays the program.

“We studied our ACR data—five years worth of data—to understand the types of programming our customers love,” Bergman said. “Then we turned around and handed channels right back to them that were specific to their viewing habits. That is a totally unique approach to data-driven programming.”

Walmart’s pending $2.3 billion acquisition of Vizio, which was announced in February, has raised questions regarding the future of ACR data from the TV maker. If the data—which allows advertisers to understand what viewers are watching, target effectively and avoid too many repeat ads—was only available to Walmart Connect users, that could cut off a key source of insight for marketers.

Vizio declined to comment on the pending deal and how its data might be impacted by the acquisition.

Food and snack pairings

In addition to recommended content, Vizio is partnering with food delivery apps and quick-service-restaurant brands to advertise dinner and snack options, with a QR code to connect viewers to an ordering app.

The company is also announcing that it secured exclusive TV streaming rights for the second season of NBTV cooking show Tom Colicchio’s The Pantry. To promote the show, celebrity chef and executive producer Colicchio will join Katherine Pond, Vizio group vp of platform content and partnerships, onstage for a fireside chat during the NewFronts presentation.

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