Kellogg's Retail Technology

Kellogg’s digital chief calls for “more transparency” in programmatic trading and eyes RTB for video in UK


By Jessica Davies | News Editor

July 24, 2013 | 4 min read

Kellogg’s is preparing to extend programmatic buying to video advertising in the UK as it continues its data-driven, precision-marketing strategy.

The FMCG giant is also on the cusp of rolling out its first real-time bidding (RTB) activity for display ads in Germany, Austria and Switzerland following the success of its UK and France-based RTB campaigns.

Kellogg’s digital director for Europe Matt Pritchard told The Drum it has “reduced wastage” and improved cost-per-engagement across various brand campaigns during the last 15 months of RTB activity, as a result of being able to deliver the right ad to the right target audience and the right time, which RTB enables.

However, he also stressed there is a need for "more transparency" and clarity around the overall programmatic trading model.

"How much you bid on the basis of how much you charge to agencies – that is an issue,” he said.

He also said there is not enough clarity regarding data ownership that he wishes to see resolved. “Is my first-party data used by anyone else [within an agency group trading desk] – I don’t know. I don’t think so but I can’t swear to it. If you look at the terms and conditions of some of the deals it’s not crystal clear who owns that data and who can leverage it going forward,” he said.

In the US Kellogg’s has been reported to have been ring-fencing its data, having opted to work with an independent third party provider Right Media to avoid some of these issues around transparency.

Pritchard said there are no current plans to take similar action in the UK but that he is monitoring his American colleagues’ progress in this space.

Kellogg's will continue to test and refine its RTB activity to ensure it is used appropriately and relevantly, as in some cases traditional media buys have proved more effective for certain campaigns, according to Pritchard.

"That is probably a reflection of how young RTB is. As the [RTB] industry and tools evolve we will review and evolve how we use it, but RTB is here to stay and will become an increasing part of the overall digital display buy and mix. We will be increasing investment in programmatic trading,” he said.

Pritchard said extending its programmatic trading to video is the “next logical step” for the brand, and an area it will look to push into in the next six months.

“We have seen great results in video in the last year and it is now a key part of all our plans and a very effective way to increase reach. We are looking and watching our US colleagues to see what they do in that space. I think video programmatic buying for video will be a key area for us to go into in the next phase of testing in the next 6 months.

“We have seen video-on-demand really punch above its weight and become a key element to all of our brand plans across all our Europe markets. The question then becomes can you buy it in a different, more effective way?,” he said.

Kellogg’s will focus on creating bespoke video content rather than repurposing TV assets to ensure the content is more relevant to the channel before applying the RTB model to it, according to Pritchard.

“Everything we do is about further optimisation and enhancement – there is no negative – it’s just about building on everything and making it even better,” he added.

Last month Monedelz's VP of media and consumer engagement Bonin Bough told The Drum programmatic buying would become the dominant method of purchase across all channels in future, including TV.

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