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By Parker Herren | May 09, 2024

Up-and-coming ad buyers reveal what’s exciting them in the current media landscape and changes they want to see.

Many of the top-of-mind questions in TV advertising aren’t concerning the current state of media, but its future. Industry growing pains in platforms, data, technology and automation are solidifying the foundation for the next generation of media buyers to build upon. Ahead of the TV upfronts, Ad Age asked 16 rising media buyers what advice they have for brands to take their approaches to investment into the future. The buyers share what’s exciting them in the current media marketplace and the changes they hope to see as the industry continues to establish future practices. Key trends among young buyers include ethical practices and social responsibility, diverse media investment, gaming and sports.



Associate Director, Video Investment, PHD

As more streamers attempt to drive viewership to their ad tiers, Sarah Cobuzzi said it’s an exciting time for advertisers to get creative with their TV ads. While digital formats such as pause ads, which places brands onscreen when a show is paused, or binge ads, which allow one advertiser to sponsor an ad-free watch session, are table stakes, Cobuzzi said the limited breaks in streaming offer marketers new ways to think about reaching TV audiences.And the idea extends beyond just the creative itself. Cobuzzi said tech and data companies have become just as important as the media companies themselves and wants to see more attention given to them. In March, measurement company VideoAmp hosted an upfront-esque presentation in New York. “It was the first time that I had seen a data company come in and build a presentation exactly how you would see like an NBCU upfront presentation,” Cobuzzi said. “They presented who they are, why they are important, case studies and why advertisers should be leveraging them and the benefit there is in the marketplace.” Cobuzzi said there’s a benefit to new players in TV advertising playing ball in traditional spaces. For example, this year’s TV upfront week includes presentations from Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Netflix alongside Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery. That competition benefits advertisers because “it forces the digital partners’ hand to think on an upfront basis,” said Cobuzzi. “A lot of times, we get sent last-minute opportunities, and we already went through the upfront and know where everything’s landing,” said Cobuzzi. The upfront “forces partners to think how they can partner with advertisers over the next year, not just the next few months.”


Associate Director, Investment and Activation, OMD

Alexandra Cudia said more advertisers should consider how their target audience consumes media when setting their investment strategy. Cudia said an example is young consumers using social media as a primary way to search for new products, so a brand wanting to promote a summer clothing line might trade sponsored search results for partnering with a TikTok creator on a summer outfit series and exploring ways to bring that social-first creative to TV. As ad budgets tighten, Cudia said media consolidation will be crucial for both consumers overwhelmed by the amount of choice, as well as for advertisers needing to spend more efficiently. Streaming bundles or packages across platforms could help advertisers be creative in their marketing, according to Cudia. Cudia is also excited to see celebrities at the upfront this year after a largely star-less upfront last year due to the Hollywood strikes.




Associate Director, Video Investment, Hearts & Science

With the influx of tech streamers into traditional TV spaces, Griffin Timoney is excited about the greater amount of choice in TV advertising. As buying moves away from the upfront cycle with greater emphasis on audience-based buying, marketers are able to find opportunities in TV throughout the year rather than setting commitments all at once.

But to shift advertisers’ focus from linear TV to CTV, Timoney said streamers need to offer more transparency into what content ads are running during. While some platforms, such as Peacock, are working with agencies to do so, Timoney said it needs to be a standard across the industry.