If Time Inc. proved nothing else at its NewFront presentation at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday morning, it was that the company knows how to produce a sizzle reel to promote basically anything — a useful skill when trying to hype digital video to a room full of advertisers. There were sizzle reels for every new show, as well as for the creative agency, data initiatives and for the company itself.
Time Inc. chief revenue officer Brad Elders, wearing a Rangers jersey, introduced the show with a video montage highlighting some of the major events that occurred between last year’s NewFronts and this year’s —although it was missing a few major events. It included footage of rallies for Donald Trump and protests against him, but the president himself was absent. Also absent, nor surprisingly, was any mention of Time Inc.’s decision last week not to pursue the sale of the company.
“The NewFronts are an opportunity to highlight the best of Time Inc.’s offerings, but also to tell the story of the new Time Inc.,” chief executive officer Rich Battista said, before thanking the assembled marketers and advertisers for enabling the company’s journalism at a time when it’s more important than ever.
“Video has quickly become the new way we tell stories at Time Inc.,” he said.
The biggest announcement was that Sports Illustrated is getting in on the video streaming trend with the launch of the Sports Illustrated Network, a sports-themed video on demand channel, much like the People Entertainment Weekly Network that the company debuted at last year’s NewFronts.
Time Inc. unveiled a robust line-up of new programming from across its portfolio of brands. From InStyle comes “Dirty Laundry,” a weekly interview show where the magazine’s editor in chief Laura Brown will interview celebrities about their clothes at a laundromat. From People, a docu-series about various family configurations, which, during the presentation, was compared to NBC’s hit show “This Is Us.”
Both Time magazine and Essence had shows centered around promoting female accomplishments: “Firsts,” from Time, will be a look at women who have broken barriers and changed the world, and “The Boss Lady Project,” from Essence, introduces black girls to successful black women in their field. People and Southern Living are ramping up for an unscripted show where a country musician writes a song after getting introduced to an ordinary person with an inspirational story.
The star factor came in the form of a live interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, meant to promote People’s half-hour live-streamed daily talk show, “People Now,” which will add a second half-hour to its schedule.
A snappy video spot touted the benefits of The Foundry, Time Inc.’s creative studio, including the fact that it has an in-house barista (“No, not a Battista,” the video joked, flashing an image of the company’s ceo) and is located in Industry City on Brooklyn’s rehabilitated waterfront. Additionally, the company revealed several new all-social instructional video brands including The Pretty, the beauty brand set to debut this summer; ReMade for DIY fans and The Barrel, for the aspiring mixologist.
Toward the end of the show, the director of media from Dunkin’ Dounuts came on stage to offer the audience a testimonial about working with Time Inc. The coffee and pastry brand has, for the past four years, signed with the publishing company as a sponsor of People’s Red Carpet franchise.
The crowd left the theater, grabbing munchkins and posing in front of a colorful doughnut wall on the way out.