- Brewing giant AB InBev announced it is running a blockchain-based mobile ad campaign across a number of its leading brands, a collaboration with the mobile marketing company Kiip, according to news shared with Mobile Marketer. The companies claim this is the first blockchain-based mobile ad campaign.
- The campaign is for the brands Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Estrella Jalisco, Stella Artois and Bud Light Lime-a-Rita, and uses Kiip's blockchain product, Single Ledger. Single Ledger lets businesses in the mobile ad sales chain view and audit campaign data directly. The technology intends to provide a clear reconciliation of campaign performance data, eliminating the potential for fraudulent reporting by third parties and ad servers.
- Kiip founder and CEO Brian Wong will discuss the technology tomorrow, June 20, at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. He will be joined by Lucas Herscovici, AB InBev's global marketing vice president of consumer connections, insights and innovation.
Kiip's Single Ledger blockchain solution could help AB InBev ensure that its dollars are being spent on ads that establish meaningful connections with consumers at the times they're most likely to engage with brands in the brewer's portfolio. Blockchain has received most of its publicity from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, but the technology promises to transform the way industries interact with customers and conduct transactions, including through digital advertising.
Blockchain creates a distributed ledger of transactions that can't be altered, helping to eliminate the possibility of fraud and redundancies. For the advertising industry, that means mobile campaigns can be potentially audited directly and in real-time to ensure that brands aren't paying for fraudulent or inaccurate views. For AB InBev, working Kiip could bolster marketing efficiency at a time when many of the marketer's lead brands, including Budweiser, are struggling to hold the interest of consumer who increasingly favor spirits and craft beer alternatives. If the partnership is successful, AB InBev could also become a leader in its field for leveraging nascent blockchain technology.
"As the world's largest brewer and brand builders, we take our responsibility for the stewardship of the category seriously through our approach to advertising and the ways we create meaningful experiences for consumers with our brand content," AB Inbev's Herscovici said in a statement. "This campaign will increase transparency in programmatic ad buying and support the ways our brands earn consumers attention."
AB InBev joins other marketers in eyeing blockchain products as a potential cure for the numerous transparency issues plaguing the digital advertising landscape, including ad fraud, brand safety and murky campaign measurement. Unilever has reported early successes through a similar blockchain initiative with IBM that looks to improve agility and transparency across the CPG giant's digital media supply chain and ad trading processes.
Blockchain technology also is gaining acceptance among consumer loyalty programs that grant customers a cryptocurrency that can be traded for rewards and discounts. Earlier this month, Havas launched a blockchain-based loyalty program for sports organizations and sponsors that rewards fans for their engagement. Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, in February announced plans to issue rewards coins that were convertible to cash.