Mondelez already has proven to be a game changer in digital marketing in its two short years in existence. And now the global snack-brands spinoff from Kraft Foods plans to leap decisively ahead of its competition through a vast strategic partnership with Google and its YouTube unit that will result in 10% of the total Mondelez advertising budget going to online video this year.
It also won’t be long before Mondelez and Google invite supermarket retailers into the fold to help them exploit the unprecedented possibilities of their partnership by taking advantage of apps and location-based technologies to use the new content to influence sales inside the store.
“We’re going to quickly see a focus on that, especially as we get closer to having anonymized personal data that can map onto retailer data,” Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement for Mondelez, told CPGmatters. “Then those kinds of partnerships with retailers, even around online video, become really exciting.”
For the time being, the excitement is all for Mondelez and for Google, to which Mondelez has made a big commitment in advertising spending. It includes assistance from Google offices around the world to help Mondelez and its family of brands – which include Oreo, Cadbury, Trident and many others -- distribute timely, relevant, engaging and diverse branded-video content on YouTube that will create a return on investment for Mondelez and fuel sales growth of its products.
In fact, Mondelez plans to invest a total of about 18% of its marketing budget via digital platforms this year, indicating that its partnership with Google right out of the gate will comprise the company’s single most important platform for digital advertising.
The deal represents “a cutting-edge approach to video that will make media buying, creative production, data and analytics work together in real time and at a fraction of the cost,” Bough said in a press release.
“There are three pillars to this,” he explained to CPGmatters. “First is that it will provide deeper integration of the insights that Google has around branded video and bring it closer to ours. At the scale Google operates what you could call the largest TV channel in the world, with teams all over the world, they can deploy these insights quickly.”
Bough said the second pillar of the deal is to help Mondelez optimize ROI with online video as it reaches more diverse audiences and those that are difficult to communicate with via traditional channels such as TV. “What does being the best-in-class online-video advertiser look like?” Bonin said. His asking that question should terrify TV broadcasters who are left on the sidelines by this partnership.
And finally, the Mondelez-Google deal—which expands greatly on the mobile-only media deal that they signed last year—involves exploring new models for content creation “that can allow us to get the sheer volume of content that we need to give consumers what they want,” he explained.
“How do we create more branded content?” Bough said. “It could be pure ads. There could be the next 15- or 30-second TV ads coming out of this process. What's the right creative approach? How do we deliver different video creative to different audience segments? We don't know. We have these content creation needs and we want to explore them. The economics of providing enough branded content are very tough given the sheer volume of content you have to create to gain impact and awareness.”
Retailers soon could come into play, Bough said. “If you step back and look at Google, you see that in reality, it owns the largest mobile operating system, which is individualized information, and also the largest video and largest search platforms,” he said. “So Google is throwing out insights all day long. If we can match a smartphone to a video user we begin to get to the place where with anonymized personal data, we can actually see video drive sales.
“So while there isn’t a retailer component that’s a direct part of this deal, our push is to get real granular to study how video drives sale and go from there.”
Among other things that are planned under the current deal, Mondelez and Google will be partnering on content pilots with YouTube's Brand Partner Program. Also, along with Fullscreen, a global youth media company, Mondelez is crafting a new model of high-quality, low-cost video content featuring influential digital stars, at first focusing on its Sour Patch Kids brand.
Bough said that Fullscreen isn't affiliated with the Mobile Futures initiative that Mondelez launched last year to attempt to leapfrog competitors in the crucial arena of digital marketing technology. “But Fullscreen is part of that overall strategy of working with the guys who are reimagining the models” via digital marketing, he added. “The Fullscreen people are ahead of us, and the way they're reinventing the content-marketing model is very exciting."
The Google partnership follows a major pact by Mondelez with Facebook that was announced earlier this year for a similar-sounding “global strategic partnership.” Mondelez said at the time that it would put Facebook at “the core of our media investment plans.” Also, last September, Mondelez signed a deal with Twitter to enable real-time marketing through Twitter teams dedicated to Mondelez in the United States, Brazil, India and the UK to collaborate with local marketers and leverage Twitter’s analytical capabilities.
So apparently there’s room enough in Mondelez’s expansive digital-marketing portfolio for huge swaths of cooperation with three of the world’s digital-tech giants.