Kraft On Digital; Instagram Debuts Video Ads

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The Kraft Of Digital

“We're not looking to drive down advertising costs per se. We're driving for improved advertising effectiveness,” said Kraft EVP and CFO Teri List-Stoll during the company’s quarterly earnings call. “We're also realizing meaningful efficiencies as we shift our spending to more targeted digital media.” Digital accounted for more than 35% of Kraft’s total ad spend in Q3, a 25% increase YoY. Read the Q3 earnings transcript via Seeking Alpha. The theme echoes CMO Denise Elsner’s recent speech at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference. Read Joanna O’Connell’s take.

Insta Video Ads

Instagram debuted video ads for the first time on Thursday, after a six-month trial period. The first brand clients to test drive the unit are Disney, Activision, Lancome, Banana Republic and CW. "Our audience is becoming increasingly mobile-centric, and Instagram is a mobile-centric platform,"Jonathan Anastas, head of digital and social media at Activision, told Adweek. "So it's an important part of the marketing mix." Added Brian Chang, assistant VP of media at Lancome USA, “It wasn’t a hard decision for us. We, as a brand, wanted to take advantage of being first to market.” Read more.

Fighting The Showroom

Wal-Mart is considering taking its brick-and-mortar price-matching program online this holiday season, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. In general, the big-box retailer hasn’t been able to maintain a pricing advantage against its competitors since 2012, according to a study by Kantar. The move could make Wal-Mart more competitive, but it also carries the risk of a decline in revenue as a result of price cuts. During a call with investors earlier this year, Wal-Mart’s chief merchant Duncan Mac Naughton confirmed, “We’re doubling down to make sure that we show price gaps across the marketplace.” Read on. Also, read our recent article on Wal-Mart’s e-commerce “engine.”

Opera Dollars

Opera Mediaworks reported quarterly revenues of $138.8 million, a whopping 84% percent year-over-year increase. During 2014’s Q3, Opera Mediaworks inked a deal to buy mobile video platform AdColony, and the company now credits mobile video for half of its revenue. “Our Q3 results and the addition of AdColony, positions us the no.1 independent mobile ad platform globally,” claimed Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva in a blog post. “While generating record revenues, we are also delivering very healthy profits, in sharp contrast to other mobile ad tech companies.” Read the press release. And, read our July article.

Content Marketing Funding

Visible Measures completed a $7 million fundraising round on Thursday, bringing the ad tech start-up’s total funding to $70 million. The company has leaned heavily into pitching programmatic and native advertising to its marketing clients, which include Microsoft, P&G and Ford. In a press release, CEO and founder Brian Shin said, “This funding enables us to continue pushing the boundaries of the emerging Content Advertising category, which combines critical aspects of Content Marketing, Programmatic Advertising, and Marketing Automation.”

To Infinity…And Beyond!

Mobile and desktop scrolling experiences will have more consistent ad placement with native ad exchange Sharethrough’s infinite scroll support, says the company. The new feature allows publishers to place ads in their content stream as users scroll further down. The publishers control the cadence and location of placements. The product feature responds to the increased use of infinite scroll in publisher sites on both mobile and desktop. Read the press release.

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