NEW YORK — Netflix unveiled new opportunities for advertisers on its platform, including single-title sponsorships and sponsorship of its first-ever live sports event, at an Advertising Week New York session on Tuesday. The streamer also announced plans to launch a binge ad format later this year, according to Peter Naylor, the company's vice president of global advertising sales.
Frito-Lay's Smartfood popcorn brand will serve as the single-title sponsor for the next season of reality hit "Love Is Blind." The streamer will also broadcast the Netflix Cup, which pits Formula 1 drivers from its "Drive to Survive" documentary series against PGA golfers in a match play golf tournament, on Nov. 14, with T-Mobile and Nespresso as sponsors. A planned binge ad format will serve a 30- or 60-second brand spot amid a viewers' "binge" of several episodes before playing a commercial-free episode.
"At a time when more than 80% of our ad-supported members watch for two hours or more, this product will reward viewers and allow your brands to stand out," Naylor said during the session.
The new ad formats and sponsorship opportunities join an existing Top 10 ad format that puts brand media placements into the top viewed shows on the platform. The Top 10 carousel is below the "For You" and "Keep Watching" carousels near the top of the streamer's interface.
"Advertisers tell me all the time they want to be culturally relevant and have the ability to connect with audiences," Naylor said of Top 10 ads. "Well, if you want to be culturally relevant, there's no better place to do it then having your ads nestled within the top shows that everybody is talking about."
By sponsoring the Netflix Cup, brands will be able to reach both racing and golf fandoms as the streamer makes its first foray into live sports. The sponsorships will be integrated into the broadcast in a way that's "natural and holistic," according to Naylor, and won't include traditional 15- and 30-second ads.
For Nespresso, the sponsorship is an opportunity for a brand in "household penetration build mode," said Jessica Padula, Nespresso’s vice president of marketing and interim vice president for sustainability, during the session. While the Nestle coffee brand is strong in Europe, it is still growing in the U.S.
"That's a fascinating place to be in as a marketer to say, 'Okay, I gotta do something big, I got to make a statement,'" Padula said. "What better way to do it than with something that's the first time and exciting and really a cultural moment that we can associate ourselves with in a way that just introduces people to a different side [of the brand] than they expected."
The announcement of new opportunities for marketers comes a day before Netflix will report its fiscal third quarter earnings after the market closes. Membership to its ad-supported plan nearly doubled in Q2, but revenue from that part of the business was not yet “material” to the company’s bottom line, per last quarter's earnings report.
Earlier this month, Netflix’s global ad president Jeremi Gorman departed just a little over a year after joining the company and was replaced by Amy Reinhard, who previously served as vice president of Netflix’s studio operations.