Entertainment & Content

NBCUniversal: Ads Should Entertain

Overview CES Tech Talk podcast, in season 6, features interviews with experts bringing you an insider’s look at what’s new and trending in consumer electronics, and at CES. New episodes drop weekly. Subscribe to get the latest. In episode 29, NBCUniversal’s Yusuf Chuku talks about cracking the code for keeping TV audiences tuned in during commercial breaks.

For many, watching the best shows on television means contending with interruptions, er, important messages -- sometimes several consecutive minutes of them -- just when the action’s getting good. Broadcasters like NBCUniversal are responding to ad-weary audiences, structuring commercials to deliver the best effect during popular programs, games and other content. The sector’s executives know how hard it is to hold audiences’ attention when program and platform choices abound. NBCUniversal Executive VP Yusuf Chuku offers insights on keeping viewers engaged when ads play. It’s all in episode 29, NBCUniversal Solves the Streaming-Ads Challenge, of the CES Tech Talk podcast series.


  • Peacock, the popular NBCUniversal streaming platform, has seen strong audience engagement with ads on its programs. How? For one thing, ads are carefully placed, in terms of quantity and other factors, so that audiences can stay focused, with minimal interruptions, on their chosen programs.
  • NBCUniversal dedicates significant resources and talent to providing premium content that creates high emotional engagement so that messages hit appropriate audiences.
  • The best advertising -- the type that NBCUniversal prioritizes -- informs, entertains and tells a story. As NBCUniversal’s Yusuf Chuku says, quoting a former colleague, “Consumers invite us into their homes every evening…We should be great guests.” He adds that great guests are warm. They’ll tell you great stories. That’s what the best advertising does.

They Said It

[W]hat we do as a team is we sell across numerous platforms. If you think about wherever our content appears, whether that be on social platforms, on YouTube, Twitter, the opportunity for you to attach advertising to it…[that] is where we sit…[I]n-game advertising will be yet another opportunity that we are offering to our advertisers.

Yusuf Chuku (02:23)

[T]he idea that lots of people are willing to pay to not see advertising was a belief that I think the industry held onto for a while, and it drove the launch of the various [streaming] platforms. I think what we have discovered is…the dirty secret [is] that people love brands and they like advertising, and advertising that’s done well.

Yusuf Chuku (03:40)

NBCUniversal at CES 2023

NBCUniversal was showcased at CES via exhibit space and a session in the C Space Studio at ARIA.

Yusuf Chuku, Executive VP, Client Strategy and Insights

Chuku leads a team of planners, researchers, data strategists and analysts at NBCUniversal who focus on storytelling to reach audiences and drive business results for marketers in every category. With 25-plus years in the business both in London and New York, Chuku has worked across both planning and strategy functions. His experience spans Microsoft, BMW, Samsung, Kimberley-Clark, Kraft and Verizon.  A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Chuku’s work has been recognized by the IPA, Effies, the Jay Chiat Awards, Cannes and the Marketing Effectiveness Awards.

Subscribe to CES Tech Talk

Listen to what the industry’s thought leaders have to say about the tech industry and advancements that are changing consumers’ lives. Past episodes are available on demand.