Mondelez Goes All In On Content Because ‘Attention Is The New Currency’
A large part of Mondelez’s new strategy will focus on forming new media partnerships to acquire, develop, and distribute content to build the company’s power brands and generate revenue.
Brands are talking about experiences vs. traditional advertising, but many aren’t walking the walk. Mondelez International, a consumer packaged goods company that owns brands such as Oreo, Sour Patch Kids, Stride, and Triscuit, is separating from that pack and putting its money where its mouth is.
It all started eight months ago, when the company hired Laura Henderson as its first global head of content and media monetization in response to the mass disruption happening within the marketing and media industry. From media fragmentation, to a growing sense of empowerment among audiences, to ad blocking, brands have a huge problem on their hands, according to Henderson.
“It’s become more expensive and more difficult for us to reach audiences than ever before, and so we saw the need to create a new model that would help future-proof us as we continue to see the media landscape change,” said Henderson, in an exclusive interview with CMO.com.
Henderson’s role involves creating a new function within Mondelez that helps its brands shift from the old models of interruptive advertising. She’s essentially building out the company’s global content marketing capabilities to empower its local marketers to make content that’s “good enough to make money,” she said.
“We’re shifting from being solely transactional media buyers to becoming content investors and producers,” she said.
Internally, a central global team leads the content initiative, but it is operated at a local level. A large part of Mondelez’s new strategy will focus on forming new media partnerships to acquire, develop, and distribute content to build the company’s power brands and generate revenue. The goal is for up to 10% of the company’s global media investments to break even or turn a profit by 2020.
“We’re not building a standalone studio or bringing production in-house,” Henderson explained. “This is very much partnering with the best and brightest in the content creation space to bring this ambition to life.”
As part of the content strategy, Mondelez announced three initiatives. The first is for the Stride gum brand, called “Heaven Sent.” On Saturday, July 30, Stride will debut what it hopes will be a “mad intense” live event where professional skydiver Luke Aikins will jump from a plane at 25,000 feet with nothing but the clothes on his back. The event will air exclusively in the U.S. on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/PT, though Mondelēz is looking to make the event available across the globe through broadcast, online streaming, and pay-per-view platforms.
“This stunt is really a great embodiment of that brand idea, ‘mad intense,’ that’s coming to life,” Henderson said. “For us this is an incredible piece of content that we think will earn attention and be really interesting to our target audience.”
Mondelez has also partnered with BuzzFeed because, as Henderson put it, “They’ve got a great command over the millennial audience.” BuzzFeed and Mondelez will work together to build out a new well-being brand, similar to what BuzzFeed has done with Tasty. Mondelez’s strategy is to bring half of its portfolio of brands into that space by 2020.
“This partnership really affords us the opportunity to build a new voice in well-being,” Henderson said.
The last portion of the announcement, as part of a broader investment in content, is the launch of a mobile gaming suite. This is intended to build off the success of “Oreo Twist, Lick, Dunk,” a mobile game that Mondelez launched a couple of years ago. The aim is to bring Mondelez brands to life and monetize the games through in-app ads and purchases.
“Consumers have got more choices than ever before, and that’s really put them in the driver’s seat,” Henderson said. “Attention is now the new currency, and in that type of world, in the world of Netflix and Amazon and Hulu, advertising is no longer an assumed part of that equation.”