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  • Alan Walz

ITN National Unwired Flexible Solutions

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, ITN will be providing marketers with unprecedented access to our full suite of capabilities over the course of this next year.

As COVID-19 shifted consumer behavior to social distancing and restricted living, many brands closed or revised their stores, and agencies have taken great care to ensure that new COVID-19-related creative reflects our current realities, including those working from home, unemployed and essential workers.

Until we have a vaccine it’s going to be a tentative environment, with millions of newly unemployed or underemployed consumers who will have to keep an eye on their personal finances. Just like the last recession, reemergence from this crisis will stress-test the client-agency relationship. Brands will have to think differently to adapt, and agencies will need to find innovative solutions to problems unforeseen.

A full return to “normal” is a long way off and will not occur nationally all at once. As smaller towns and more rural areas test gradual escalation to next levels of openness, larger cities and more densely populated areas will be forced to ease restrictions more slowly. As the rollout of the economy across US markets will occur in different stages, marketers will want to continue delivering the right messages. This poses an unprecedented challenge for national advertisers and their agencies, many of whom were forced to reduce staff and will emerge even less equipped. According to Nielsen Ad-Intel, of the Top 200 Parent-Subsidiary advertisers on television, 112 spent less than 5% of their television budgets locally in the 12 months prior to the pandemic. Hundreds of mid-sized and smaller advertisers have no local “spot” budgets at all. The planning process for marketers to emerge from COVID-19 is being thrown into disarray, with no pricing models or infrastructure in place with their agencies to convert masses of national television dollars to local executions that would enable delivery of the right messages to the right consumers based on the current status of their geographic realities.

ITN Networks recognizes the extraordinary circumstances whereby agencies will need to help marketers retool their capabilities with media plans that will be able to respond to regional changes and course-correcting. In order to support our business as a national television unwired, ITN frequently demonstrates the proprietary network of technologies we have spent decades building, while expanding our relationships with station partners who are directly connected into ITN’s platform. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, ITN will be providing marketers with unprecedented access to our full suite of capabilities over the course of this next year. We’re offering national unwired networks with market by market flexibility. Marketers can advertise nationally in customized ITN news and entertainment networks, with options to use different creative in different markets, or black-out certain markets. Creative can be changed in individual markets week-to-week, and markets can be added or deleted weekly with only two-weeks’ notice through ITN executed optimizations across real-time and near-time inventory transactions in pre-approved, brand safe only content.

Importantly, ITN will be providing these features with no additional fees or costs applied, as our optimizations will target pre-guaranteed national CPMs with expansion opportunities across additional markets. In addition, all national criteria will continue to be provided across all ITN activity, Nielsen National People Meter commercial measurement, national reach and frequency reporting, national audience guarantees, national unwired talent payments, and so on.

This pandemic experience is a first for all of us, and the gradual return to normal will require first-time solutions. Reemergence from this crisis will stress-test the client-agency relationship to meet unprecedented needs, and so we offer assistance in introducing ITN’s expanded unwired capabilities as innovative solutions. In the spirit of partnership, we’ll do all we can to work through this with you together, to keep ads running nationally while adjusting regionally to the new realities.We’re certain our agency and client partners will emerge from this global crisis, and with innovative ideas and tech-savvy partners, together we can come out stronger than ever.

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