AW360 Sits Down with Locality’s President of Streaming, Keith Kazerman

In this AW360 interview, we speak with Keith Kazerman, President of Streaming at Locality to get his thoughts on the state of local advertising and streaming, Upfronts and what lies ahead for Locality in 2024.

By R. Larsson, Advertising Week

AW360: Given the evolving landscape of streaming, how do you perceive the current and future value of local TV advertising in comparison to broader, national campaigns?

Keith Kazerman: The power of local is to impact buying decisions at the point of purchase, which ultimately occurs at the local level, whether it’s through ecommerce or brick and mortar. When you look at localizing a message for a specific audience in a certain locality, you enable that brand to break through and form more relevant connections for a positive business outcome. With national campaigns serving as a powerful brand vehicle, branding strategies that combine a national and local approach can maximize success.

From a current and future value, local advertising is a very significant and meaningful part of the brand strategy. Its targeted approach not only fortifies a brand’s presence but directly influences individual market success, making it an indispensable tool in today’s competitive landscape.

AW360: In your experience, why has advertising at the local level become increasingly crucial, especially in the context of streaming platforms? What unique opportunities or challenges does this present for advertisers?

Keith Kazerman: Like any industry that grows quickly, the streaming space is transforming, presenting advertisers with challenges. The largest one we solve for very well at Locality is fragmentation. As a one-stop shop for the most popular streaming publishers, Locality enables advertisers to reach audiences at scale, no matter the streaming service, device, or show they are watching.

This is especially important at the local level, where navigating the myriad of streaming options to achieve meaningful reach can be challenging. By consolidating access to diverse streaming inventory, Locality offers brands the essential scale needed to engage their geo-targeted audiences with relevant ads effectively in this fragmented landscape.

AW360: How does the current environment make local advertising, particularly in the streaming space, a potential gold mine for businesses looking to connect with their audience?

Keith Kazerman: As we look at audience migration, it’s been a handful of years now of growth on streaming platforms. National buyers were first to adopt the environment as the audience numbers were not yet conducive to local scale.

Today, local advertising stands as one of the fastest-growing segments in streaming. This shift highlights the power of local ads to forge deeper, more personal connections with viewers. By tapping into the digital and personalized essence of streaming, local advertising allows brands to interact directly with distinct communities, deploy customizable ad formats, and unlock the potential for precise and impactful connections with their target audience.

AW360: Can you elaborate on specific strategies or approaches that advertisers should consider to effectively tap into the local market through streaming services? Are there any emerging trends or technologies that are particularly promising in this regard?

Keith Kazerman: To effectively engage local markets through streaming, advertisers, agencies, and decision-makers are increasingly focusing on metrics such as incremental reach and frequency compared to linear. Our collaboration with iSpot has been pivotal in assessing the untapped potential of streaming audiences—those complementary to traditional broadcast and cable channels. It’s a very important piece that we’re proving post-campaign. Incremental audiences, as an extension to create coverage within a local arena, is essential and why local should remain in play with any media mix and expenditure.

If we’re looking at technology that can further help in this area, utilizing AI is a big one to help create customized creative that speaks to local audiences within a certain DMA or city. By combining streaming’s precise targeting with AI-driven hyper-personalization, advertisers can achieve unparalleled engagement in local markets.

AW360: With shifting viewership habits, reaching local audiences through streaming requires a nuanced approach. What insights or data-driven methods can advertisers leverage to ensure their campaigns are not only reaching but resonating with the desired local demographics?

Keith Kazerman: In response to the evolving viewer habits, reaching local audiences through streaming requires a tailored approach. This involves leveraging insights and data-driven methods that prioritize market-by-market targeting and localized creative messaging. It’s about crafting campaigns that not only reach but also speak directly to specific audiences in specific locations, ensuring the message is both relevant and engaging.

Working with partners like Locality, who have a deep understanding of local markets and the nuances of engaging different demographic groups, can drive the effectiveness of campaigns. This approach combines Locality’s expertise in targeting and market knowledge with a managed service model, providing a strategy that is less about broad strokes and more about the precision of messaging. The goal is to foster genuine connections with the audience by delivering content that resonates on a personal level. This is increasingly important in a landscape where viewer preferences and behaviors are constantly shifting.

AW360: As we approach Upfronts season, a pivotal time for the media industry, what trends do you anticipate will shape streaming and advertising in the coming year? Are there any developments or shifts that you believe will have a notable impact on how streaming services approach content, partnerships, and ad experiences?

Keith Kazerman: As we enter Upfronts season, the landscape of streaming and advertising has already undergone significant change. Leading platforms are set to distinguish themselves through both contextual and audience-driven strategies, bringing forth a more sophisticated environment for advertisers. Moreover, the integration of traditional and streaming media, propelled by initiatives such as the JIC’s efforts last year, is enhancing strategies.

The ability for an advertiser to look holistically at content will be much more progressive than it has been in the past because of measurement advancements across the space. The other piece to bring it back to local – as large as the players are that will be participating at Upfronts week, when you look at the penetration locally, fragmentation is still an issue. That’s where we, at Locality, see an opportunity to provide a very specific ability for advertisers to reach local consumers at scale.

AW360: Given the intensifying competition for live sports content among various streaming platforms, how do you see the streaming landscape capturing and retaining audiences during these high-profile events?

Keith Kazerman: I’ll give a nod to Peacock for their record-breaking 23 million viewers of their NFL playoff game. It’s a testament that rabid sports audiences will find and watch their games, regardless of the platform. As live sports streaming becomes increasingly widespread, it presents an exciting opportunity for the industry to offer a diverse range of viewing options. This was evident during the Super Bowl, where fans had unprecedented access to the event across multiple platforms. This signifies a vibrant future, opening new avenues for businesses like ours to leverage the targeting capabilities of streaming to connect live sports audiences with relevant, impactful messages at the local level.

AW360: As streaming platforms continue to diversify content and user preferences evolve, how can advertisers adapt their messaging to remain relevant and engaging at the local level? Are there specific content integration or customization strategies that you find particularly effective in this dynamic environment?

Keith Kazerman: In the dynamic world of streaming, where content and preferences rapidly change, advertisers must fine-tune their strategies to connect authentically with local communities. Understanding and leveraging the unique tastes of regional audiences through a data-driven approach is key to crafting relevant and engaging messages.

At Locality, we elevate local advertising by ensuring ad quality through measures like frequency and recency caps, competitive separation, and brand safety. These steps not only enhance the viewer’s experience but also ensure that advertisements resonate more effectively with local audiences, making every ad interaction meaningful in this ever-evolving landscape

AW360: As we look towards the future, what else can AW360 readers expect to see from Locality in 2024 and beyond?

Keith Kazerman: Looking ahead, Locality is focused on making it simpler for advertisers to reach large local audiences effectively. We aim to seamlessly merge the worlds of streaming and traditional broadcast, making it easier to organize and measure advertising campaigns across various channels. Committed to growing our managed services capabilities and introducing tech-enabled ad solutions, we remain focused on our primary goal: to unlock the full potential of local advertising. Look forward to ongoing innovations from Locality in 2024 and the years that follow, as we work to streamline the advertising ecosystem for our partners.

About Keith

Keith Kazerman – President of Streaming – Keith Kazerman is President of Streaming at Locality, the industry’s preeminent local television solutions provider. An industry veteran, he has more than 25 years of experience as a media executive and thought leader in advanced and local TV advertising. He most recently held the position of President at Gamut, during which he led Gamut through its union with CoxReps to form Locality.

Prior to these roles, he held the position of Senior Vice President at TripleLift, leading development of its CTV business, which included driving publisher engagements and supply creation, agency demand and partnerships. Kazerman also spent five years at Discovery as Executive Vice President, Digital Sales, Advanced Advertising, and Research. There, he led the strategy and execution of its advertising business across linear, VOD, OTT/CTV, and social media platforms.

During his time at Discovery, Kazerman also led the launch of Discovery Plus, setting the foundation for accelerating digital revenue growth across the direct-to-consumer (DTC) product offering; and developed Discovery Engage, which enabled targeting, optimization, and measurement across all screens. Before joining Discovery, Kazerman spent ten years at DIRECTV, serving as Senior Vice President, National Ad Sales, where he led the launch of the largest national addressable platform, leading the industry’s evolution to data-informed media execution across video.

Kazerman is a proud graduate of Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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