The owner of CNN and TNT wants to transform commercial breaks into 3-minute-long native ads


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CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer.

Turner Broadcasting - which owns TV networks including CNN, TNT, and Cartoon Network - has a plan to transform its commercial breaks to make them more like its programming.


At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Turner is showcasing its "Native Plus" product, which will see it replace some commercial breaks that tend to showcase anywhere between five and 10 different 30-second ads a with 2-to-3-minute-long "native" ad for a single advertiser.

Turner will work with the advertiser to create the longer-form content, which it says will be more "powerful and impactful to the viewer." The thinking, presumably, is that a longer ad will give the advertiser more space to convey their key messages and that the elongated slot will provide standout compared to traditional commercial breaks.

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The advertiser can also choose to use their existing digital marketing content, extending it to a TV audience - a role-reversal from recent years when marketers used to be criticized for simply uploading their TV ads to YouTube and Facebook and hoping they would appeal to a digital audience.

In a press release, Turner says: "Turner Native Plus will extend storytelling into the commercial pod by developing the right environment for the client, increasing exposure to the brand, and as a result, driving higher ROI [return on investment.]"


AdAge reports that Intel will be one of the first brands to trial Native Plus.

US primetime TV ratings declined 10% year on year, according to Nielsen's monthly live viewership data for December. However, as analysts at Nomura Securities pointed out in a recent research note, Turner was one of the bright spots of the industry in December.

CNN reported a 119% year-on-year ratings increase in primetime, while Cartoon Network recorded primetime viewership growth in nine of the last 10 months. The increases helped offset ongoing ratings declines at TBS and TNT, meaning aggregate primetime ratings were up 2% year-on-year.

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