NBC Universal has joined the group of companies integrating Artificial intelligence (AI) into their products and services by launching an advertisement format that uses AI to create shoppable ads for customers on Peacock Premium.

AI-Powered Must ShopTV

During the 2023 IAB NewFronts event, NBCU unveiled four new ad formats among the Must ShopTV which enables users to shop items present or being used in the content shown. This is made possible by AI algorithms created to identify shoppable items from videos.

The algorithm trained by video intelligence company KERV Interactive performs object detection on the video and then generates the data and description of the detected shoppable item. The TV screen will then display a QR code, which viewers can scan with their mobile devices to make a purchase resulting in an interactive experience.

To demonstrate this format, Peacock used “Top Chef”, the cooking show, where knives and cutting boards that appeared in the video were detected and ads for them were run alongside the content.

The Must ShopTV, which was first introduced in February during its One23, an ad-tech-focused showcase, has now been made available to marketers and advertisers. This ad format is optional and viewers who wish not to see them can choose to simply watch their program without it.

At the announcement, Peter Blacker, NBCU’s EVP of streaming and data products, global advertising, and partnerships, said, “The journey starts in Browse, where users can see sponsored signals informing them which content is shoppable.”

Blacker added:

Once they opt-in, they’re brought to a screen where they can browse ‘Top Chef’ must-haves and add it to their wish list. Viewers can complete the purchase in the moment or, if they wait, a mobile push notification will prompt them to complete the process.

The Must-Shop Ad is also connected to the NBCU Checkout platform which enables users to clear their wishlist and pay for goods from different retailers in a single transaction.

Peacock’s Ad Formats

Aside from the shoppable ads, Peacock also launched the Marquee, Power Break and Spotlight+. The latter is meant to enable companies to be seen across all platforms, content, and screens.

No matter where the target audience is watching from or whether they are viewing Peacock originals or content from a different digital partner, Spotlight+ ensures the companies are seen.

According to TechCrunch, this “+” option is an improvement on Peacock’s Spotlight ad style, which gives marketers 24-hour ownership of the initial consumer impression across all streaming devices and platforms including Peacock, Fandango, and NBCU’s partner sites such as Snap and Apple News.

While the Marquee format was designed for linear ads, NBCU has chosen to leverage it for live sports streaming on Peacock and has announced it as the third format. With this, brand logos are strategically placed on the bottom left or right of the screen or on premium spots such as the scoreboard creating interactivity between the brand and the content without being intrusive.

Blacker pointed out that Marquee ads boost brands by raising brand awareness by 57% adding “It puts your brand at the center of excitement on the field or pitch. So when someone scores, your brand scores too.”

With the Power Break format, Peacock is attempting to modernize its pause advertisements. When the viewer pauses the show, Power Break advertising creates data-informed pause ads that display a brand message tailored to the target audience in terms of color, language, and content.

All the new ad formats are expected to make use of the company’s proprietary tech stack, the One Platform.

“We want our viewers to engage with brands that are valuable and relevant to them, which is exactly why our new ad innovations leverage our first-party data, shoppable capabilities and the scale of One Platform,” said Blacker.

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