On Monday, NBC will premiere a late night show starring YouTube sensation Lilly Singh, and while the series will be unique for the network from a content perspective, it’ll also turn heads with its new ad experience for viewers.
First, the network is reducing its commercial load significantly, giving more time back to the show so the creators can produce it the way they want, said Mark Marshall, president of advertising sales and partnerships at NBCUniversal.
The "A Little Late with Lilly Singh" show - which features sketches, games, interviews and audience participation on the content side - will have a local break at the front and one national mid-show break. In total, the ad load is being reduced by five minutes and will contain four versus 12.5 national units.
This shift is part of NBCUniversal’s commitment a few years ago to "continue to improve the commercial experience along with the ad effectiveness of TV and advertising in general," said Marshall.
He added that since Lilly Singh comes from a different medium and has been a hit in the social world and on digital, NBC wants to make sure its delivering the right experience for viewers, especially those coming from YouTube to TV.
Is NBC worried about whether Lilly’s online audience will follow her to TV? "We aren’t," said Marshall.
The network thinks the show and its ad experience are unique, and he said NBC has stopped focusing so much overnight ratings in the last few years and has looked at total consumption across all platforms.
"TV or digital - fans of Lilly will find her," Marshall said.
Starbucks is the advertising launch partner for the show, which means the brand will be integrated into content throughout the season. NBC works with Spark on media, but handled the creative on this initiative internally.