MediaWorks, TVNZ and Sky TV launch ThinkTV NZ

From left; Pippa Wetzell, TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick, MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson, Sky TV CEO John Fellet.
From left; Pippa Wetzell, TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick, MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson, Sky TV CEO John Fellet. Photo credit: MediaWorks

ThinkTV New Zealand was launched on Friday morning with an event at Auckland's Q Theatre that featured a discussion between the CEOs of MediaWorks, TVNZ and Sky TV.

Describing itself as a "dedicated research-driven, marketing and technology development company", ThinkTV promises to help "advertisers and their agencies get the best from today's multi-platform TV".

Kim Portrate, CEO at ThinkTV Australia, gave a 30 minute presentation at the NZ launch which focussed on research that claims TV still provides the most effective platform for advertising.

"A narrative being driven out of the West Coast of the US by some tech giants... insisted, weirdly, that the growth of the internet equalled the death of TV," she said.

Ms Portrate said "internet fundamentalists" with a "religious fervour" were running amok in the advertising and marketing worlds, threatening those who still believed in TV with being "hauled off by the digirati police".

She said TV advertising was "a place that's warm and safe".

"Television advertising inside premium, quality content really does nestle precious brands in those safe, trusted, uncluttered, 100 percent viewable, 100 percent visible all the time spaces," said Ms Portrate.

She said the success of ThinkTV in Australia has seen TV advertising revenues grow in the first half of this financial year - for the first time since 2014.

But Adrian Pickstock, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of New Zealand, said online advertising was a vital part of the mix in advertising strategies. 

"IABNZ welcomes the formation of Think TV and we look forward to working with the group in the coming months," he told Newshub. 

"With regard to the role of television in marketing - we have always maintained that an effective advertising campaign should use a mix of the various channels open to marketers.

"Nevertheless, while channel effectiveness is under the microscope, [today we] announced that online annual advertising revenue in New Zealand surged to a record $923m in 2017."

Following Ms Portrate's presentation, a discussion was held between MediaWorks' Michael Anderson, TVNZ's Kevin Kenrick and Sky TV John Fellet.

"There has been an enormous amount of misinformation... and confusion in the marketplace. We're not going to cut through and we haven't been able to cut through by going out individually ourselves and arguing the case," said Mr Anderson.

"The ability for [NZ TV companies] to combine and create a unified voice to promote the platform gives us the ability to cut through some of that confusion and talk about those brand-safe environments." 

The ThinkTV New Zealand website was launched this morning.

Newshub.