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Mondelez exec: Attention is the most valuable resource and we are struggling to get it


Heaven Sent was Mondelez's latest big brand partnership to create engaging content

NEW YORK – As brands and marketers compete for consumers’ attention, having a better integration of brand and content is the best way for media to capture that attention, said an exec from Mondelez.

In a keynote address called “Making a media company,” the executive spoke about the way the company had partnered with brands to create engaging content with the brand at the top, rather than leeching off content that was created purely for consumer entertainment.

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“Attention is the new currency,” said Laura Henderson, global head of content and media monetization at Mondelez. "It is the most precious resource and the most competitive.

“People consume more media than ever before but it is more difficult for marketers to reach them because they have so many options at any time.

Deluge of content
Ms. Henderson spoke about the current crisis facing the advertising and marketing industries – namely that consumers are inundated with content at every moment and are completely surrounded by choices of what to consume.

Consumers today consumer more media than ever before and while that is a boon for them, it is making it harder and harder for brands and marketers to get their message out there when they are constantly fighting for the limited attention that modern consumers have to give.

It is that crowding of the marketplace that has fueled the rise of ad blocking software.

Ms. Henderson does not blame ad blocking on the consumer but rather on the advertisers who have made their advertising messages more intrusive and less engaging as time has gone on.

“Ad blocking is huge because people want to get their content,” she said. “We have insulted their intelligence by standing in the way of it.

“We have tried to be as loud as possible and all we’ve done is made the consumers shut us out. It’s a streetfight out there for their limited attention.

Owning the content

Ms. Henderson diagnosed the problem as marketers making their message a barrier for consumers to get past to get to their content, rather than integrating it into the content to begin with.

To combat this, Mondelez has begun a number of partnerships with brands to produce original content. This content is designed to be consumer-friendly and entertaining first, before it is brand-focused.

The difference is that the brand is present from the start and owns the content, rather than attaching itself to something the consumer wants to see as is the case with much of TV advertising.

To illustrate, Ms. Henderson spoke about a recent TV special that Mondelez produced in partnership with Stride Gum. The special, called Heaven Sent, chronicled an event, planned by Mondelez, where a professional skydiver jumped out of a plane 25,000 feet above the ground without a parachute and landed in a net.

Stride, the brand sponsor of the special, was present from the beginning and was able to integrate its brand message into the story without being intrusive or distracting from the content, Ms. Henderson said.

The special aired on Fox, with a result of one billion impressions, $15 million in earned media value and the stunt became a number one trending topic on social media.

“A lot of brands are beginning to bring their content in-house,” Ms. Henderson said. “And we are building our model on partnerships with those brands to help them own the content that consumers see.”

Danny Parisi is staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach him at danny@napean.com.

Related content: Advertising agencies, mobile, mobile marketing, mondelez, stride gum, content, advertising, video

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