A marketer identifies the features and benefits of their product that are deemed important to a select group of target customers. The marketer hones in on the customer’s TV viewing habits, and perhaps also pinpoints some of the places they are likely to walk past in a typical day. This has been going on for years, indeed more than half a century. Only fairly recently though has the marketer been a television network and the target customer an ad buyer. This is Upfront Week.
Upfront Week is a business tradition unique to advertising sales, specifically TV ad sales, that has evolved since its start in the 1960s. In the late 1950s, new series premiered on broadcast networks at various times across the year and upfront negotiations were aligned to the studio’s development cycle. According to Ad Week, at the time, upfronts began in February after Washington’s Birthday and finished within a few weeks.