Leaked Deck: NBCUniversal's Relaunch Strategy for Peacock Streamer – Business Insider

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NBCUniversal is planning a major ad campaign in February to relaunch its year-old streaming service Peacock as it tries to set the service apart from streaming rivals Disney+, HBO Max , and Paramount+.
NBCUniversal also issued requests for proposal to agencies in September, asking them to compete for a project it described as “a powerful, iconic, heartstring-pulling, passion-stirring manifesto [that] makes Peacock stand for something more than content alone.”
The RFP included a brand positioning deck, reviewed by Insider, that lays out the proposed campaign and how NBCU seeks to position Peacock. Insider also spoke to two agency execs who saw the deck and requested anonymity due to its confidential nature.
The deck says NBCUniversal will spend $2 million to produce the campaign and $15 million to place the ads, which will mostly air on its own properties, specifically Super Bowl LVI, the Beijing Winter Olympics, and a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reboot.
An NBCUniversal spokeswoman declined to comment.
The deck describes Peacock’s 2020 launch and 2021 expansion as successes and says its new goal is to turn Peacock into “a top 4 ‘must have’ SVOD through mass premium customer acquisition.” (NBCUniversal has claimed 54 million subscribers and 20 million monthly users in Q2 2021.)
A third ad exec said NBCUniversal acknowledged that many advertisers and viewers were unhappy with the Tokyo Olympics on Peacock because of a confusing user experience and the fact that most streaming viewers saw only highlight reels rather than entire events. NBCUniversal execs promised advertisers the format would be different for Beijing in February, with most events streaming live in full with ads, this person said.
“One of biggest misses they own is that they didn’t have the right content on Peacock to support advertisers,” this person said.
At the core of Peacock’s plan is to make a personal appeal to viewers, with the theme of “For All Fankind,” according to the deck.
The deck says NBCUniversal has to set itself apart from “a sea of sameness with everyone shouting ‘we have it all.'” This approach exposes weaknesses among Peacock rivals, whose recommendations “seem random” and provide “no benefit beyond fleeting content offering,” it says.
“Our new positioning is designed to premiumize and put our consumer at the heart of our brand — giving audiences not only a reason to pick us, but a reason to pay for us… and a reason to love us,” the deck reads. “With a new streaming service every month, if we don’t stake a claim on fandom… someone else will (like Netflix or Viacom).”
NBCUniversal says agencies shouldn’t focus too much on sports and warns against “excessive use of peacocks (the magnificent bird).” It says the final ads must have a “premium look and feel” that reflects “Peacock’s brand tone” while showcasing a range of titles.
One of the agency sources took particular note of a slide summarizing that tone. It reads as follows:
WE ARE:
Vibrant: We’re colorful (duh). Bold. Impossible to miss. We liven any situation. We Dazzle. When we’re in the room, something’s gonna happen.
Passionate: We really love what we do. We live, eat, and breathe culture. We ‘get’ fans because we are fans. We know our catalogue inside and out, and love nothing more than a deep-cut quote.
Versatile: We’ve got range; we can talk sports or reality TV. Informed and intuitive, we bring levity to sticky situations and gravity to the everyday. We are open-minded and thrive in diversity.
Quick-witted: We’re honest, clever, with a wink. Master improvisers, we can pivot quickly and catch the next beat.
Relatable: We’re a fan just like our fans. A friend, and an ally.
WE ARE NOT:
Quirky: We’re not trying to be the MOST different or MOST unique character out there.
Fanatical: We’re obsessed… but not TOO obsessed. We don’t go too deep down the rabbit hole of passion. We’re not zealots, and this isn’t a cult!
Masters of one: Every fan knows that they’re not just a fan of one thing. They’re a fan of lots of things!
Silly: We’re smart with where, when and how we use funny. Never going for cheap laughs or punch-line packed scripts.
Experts: Sure, we know a lot about the things we love. But we’re never one to teach or preach
The sources said the winning agency expects to be paid around $10,000, which is considered a small fee, and that NBCUniversal intends to own all the pitches it gets for use in future marketing efforts.
“It smells like free work,” one said.

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