NBCU Signs State Farm, Target and Unilever as Peacock Sponsors, Sets New Ad Formats

Streaming service will have no more than 5 minutes of ads per hour

Curator ads, which will place spots on Peacock title based on specific moods or themes, are among NBCU's ad formats for the streaming service. NBCU
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As NBCUniversal prepares to unveil many new details about Peacock at today’s investors day in New York, the company has set its ad strategy for the upcoming streaming service, lining up several brand sponsors for its April launch.

State Farm, Target and Unilever are among the Peacock brand sponsors and will be involved in the service’s marketing campaign, which the company said has a budget of “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Additional launch sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks. UPDATE: At the investor day, Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, said Apartments.com and Eli Lilly and Company were additional Peacock brand sponsors.

NBCUniversal has also set several new ad formats for the streaming service, which it said will have the industry’s “lightest” ad loads at no more than 5 minutes per hour.

“With Peacock, we’re giving consumers the free service they want and advertisers the reach and scale they desperately need—this is the best thing to happen to everyone’s screens in a long time,” said Yaccarino in a statement.

The Peacock launch sponsors will be part of the Peacock Streaming Council, dedicated to building and testing what resonates most with audiences. Those brands will promote Peacock on their own sites and platforms; in turn, they will be featured in Peacock’s marketing campaign and NBCU’s biggest ever cross-platform Symphony offering, the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

State Farm marketing assistant vice president Patty Morris said in a statement that the brand is excited to team with Peacock “to help define what the modern streaming ad experience should look like. It goes beyond simply filling traditional ad space. We are striving to connect with consumers in new and interactive ways.”

NBCUniversal’s Peacock ad formats include a pair of offerings that have been utilized on its linear networks: ShoppableTV (shoppable ads) and prime pods (its 60-second pod of audience-targeting advertising).

Two other Peacock formats echo offerings on streaming rival Hulu: pause ads (which feature messaging when a viewer pauses content) and binge ads (after a viewer watches three episodes of a show, a sponsor will bring the fourth episode ad-free).

Among the other featured Peacock ad formats:

Engagement ads include interactive experiences like trivia questions, product galleries and extended-look videos. Trending ads will run alongside topical content for that day.

Peacock's trending ad format.

Solo ads allow a brand to exclusively sponsor a show, and limit advertising to a single spot within a given episode. Curator ads will place ads in NBCU titles based on specific moods, genres or other themes, for more contextually relevant spots.

Peacock's solo ad format.

Explore ads, will also be activated when a user pauses content. In this instance, the screen will display “contextually relevant” content and will give viewers the opportunity to receive things like brand experiences or discounts sent to their phones.

Peacock's explore ad format.

Finally, On Command ads will use Xfinity’s voice technology to allow audiences to verbally interact with a brand, following on-screen prompts to speak into their remotes and receive exclusive offers.

“Peacock will provide a better experience for consumers, drive more impact for brands, and provide insights that we can scale across the entire NBCUniversal portfolio and platform,” said Krishan Bhatia, evp of business operations and strategy for NBCU, in a statement.

NBCUniversal unveiled plans last week to unite its linear and digital ad inventory—including Peacock—with its new One Platform offering, which will be available in time for this year’s upfront.

Last May, Yaccarino touted the ad-supported streaming service, which hadn’t yet been named Peacock, at NBCUniversal’s upfront presentation: “While other companies are pushing advertisers out, we’re bringing you in with inventory that’s fully addressable, data that’s fully transparent and an experience that consumers can enjoy and trust, all along with a slate of new originals and a gigantic library of old favorites.”


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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