AMC Networks is offering creative and production capabilities through its new branded content studio. The services are free of cost to any brand that joins it during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision resulted from part of AMC’s broader upfront offerings, which are being released digitally to agencies and marketers as TV networks rethink how they go to market in the current environment. Since most networks canceled their typical upfront presentations in the usual spring timeframe, AMC built a digital hub to house its initiatives, which includes a library of AMC Networks' original content, programming calendars, advanced advertising capabilities and partnership opportunities around each show.
The network group is coming up with solutions related to COVID-19, such as "super pods," long-form commercials for brand films that can premiere along with original series and prime-time films; and "applauding the heroes," where brands join AMC Networks each night at 7 p.m., across all its platforms, to honor essential workers as they change shifts. There are also "peaceful postcards," which are custom creative messages built for brands that need timelier assets in response to industry changes. These can be turned in within 24 hours. AMC Networks, which includes WeTV, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV and the Flagship channel, is also creating new programming formats in response to the crisis, with easy on-ramps for advertiser categories looking to highlight products during this time.
Last week, AMC announced “Friday Night In with The Morgans,” a weekly, half-hour video-chat-based show, hosted by “The Walking Dead’s” Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his wife Hilarie Burton Morgan. It took place at their farm in upstate New York. AMC is the latest TV network positioning itself to help marketers navigate the crisis. Last week NBCUniversal described its efforts to become a consultant to marketers, helping them craft messages and position products to capitalize on the move to e-commerce. NBCU is also introducing new commerce technologies, waiving technology fees and opening up with other creative services that exclude the associated fees.