‘It makes sense down the line to expand into programmatic TV,' Mondelez’s Ivelisse Roche discusses TubeMogul partnership

Mondelez does plan to buy TV advertising programmatically in the future, even if it is not an immediate priority, according to the company's associate director for global media and consumer engagement, Ivelisse Roche.

Roche spoke after Mondelez – owners of brands including Oreo, Toblerone, and Milka – announced last week that it had partnered with TubeMogul in a drive to optimise its online video advertising strategy, including media planning, buying and ad serving.

“We’re focused on moving more of spend to digital, an expansion of digital, and as part of this expanding our footprint with online video and shifting 10 per cent of our TV over to make sure we focus on content and not the screen,” Roche told The Drum.

“The real opportunity for us to engage with our consumers, be closer to the point of buying. We know that there is a gap in terms of what media is consumed and how we spend against that particular medium and we’re trying to narrow that gap overall."

This year Mondelez turned to programmatic buying “in a big way” and so for the moment, the company will predominantly be looking at how to improve the effectiveness of its online video advertising.

Working with TubeMogul, Mondelez has established a dedicated programmatic media buying team at MediaVest, its agency of record in the US.

However, she added: “We’re using it for digital optimisation but it makes sense down the line to expand into TV.”

Discussing how TubeMogul has approached the programmatic TV trend, Jason Lopatecki, chief strategy officer, said: “There is a lot of buzz and in all honesty it is still early days. If you asked me a year ago I would have probably thought programmatic TV is going to be lights out, but I really do believe that this year you’re going to see activation in it.”

He continued: “There’s a growth in the availability of different inventory services available for the TV world and there’s going to be different people who bring it even further but it is definitely happening in a big and fast way than I wouldn't have said last year.

“For the immediate future I see it as something that is going to be in addition to and improving efficencies. I don’t see the main TV buying spots going programmatic.’

Explaining further, Roche likened it to the airline industry saying that it won’t all go programmatic but instead media owners will look at the inventory they have, what’s sold, what hasn’t and whatever is left could potentially be sold in real-time.

Roche declined to comment on how much of its digital advertising is traded programmatically currently, but did say that it is aiming to “have a good amount.”

When asked if it would be near Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) recently stated figure of 70 per cent, Roche said: “P&G tends to be bold. Given their focus on metrics, there’s probably rationale around why they’re pushing for that figure. But we’re not looking at that level, this is our first year. But we will adjust.”

TubeMogul has also helped the company navigate the many challenges and concerns that remain around buying programmatically, chiefly brand safety.

“Protection against bad actors is a constant battle,” said Lopateci.

Roche added that the technology TubeMogul brings to the partnership has made it Mondelez’s “eyes and ears across the market” which is something it couldn't yet do itself.

Commenting on whether Mondelez will eventually bring programmatic capabilities in-house, Roche said: “Those areas are open to us as we go, and there is a brand need for it. At this point we’re squarely in with using our agency partners to help us, especially with communication planning.”

The partnership has seen Monelez use TubeMogul software in North America but Roche said there will be an expansion to additional markets in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

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