The sky’s the limit for storytelling at Mondelez

A sneak peak from Marketing Live about content so good it makes money

As part of its new “fearless” media monetization model, Mondelēz International is shifting focus from traditional models of advertising — and turning towards apps, games and content experiences, both owned and sponsored.

“Capturing audience attention is more difficult than ever. As audiences become more empowered to control their viewing experience, the old model of interruptive advertising is rapidly becoming irrelevant,” said Laura Henderson, global head of content at Mondelēz, in a press release this May.

Henderson, who was hired last summer as part of this repositioning, is leading the charge to create new revenue with the help of media organizations and content studios. She’s also one of many industry leaders speaking this October at Marketing Live, an inaugural conference that brings Marketing’s audience together for an interactive storytelling experience.

Mondelēz has dabbled in different media monetization efforts in the past. Readers might remember the mobile video game “Oreo Twist, Link, Dunk”, which encouraged musicians in Southeast Asia to record and air remixes of the Oreo Wonderfilled song on local TV.

What’s different this time around is that the company is actually partnering with studios and others to create sponsored content around its “power brands”.

For Henderson, this change is meant to harness the power of storytelling to create real revenue within the company. It’s a formidable task, as the company aims for 10% of its global media investments to break even or become profitable by 2020.

“This new approach will hold us to a higher standard of creating content that earns attention and is good enough to make money,” she commented.

The company announced its first three large-scale projects under this new model only a few months ago and their early success is already noticeable.

The first, a skydiving event titled “Heaven Sent”, aired on Fox on July 30. The event featured American skydiver Luke Aikins jumping out of a plane — sans parachute or wing suit — to free fall 25,000 feet before landing in a safety net.

Rebroadcasted on NatGeo and redistributed on YouTube and Twitter, the video was used to launch the Stride chewing gum brand’s new “Mad Intense” flavours.

Only a day after airing, the special had created nearly 5,000 press hits and well over 500 million impressions. The stunt has since been transformed into a documentary special and associated mobile game and will be used to create a 360 video experience.

Representatives from Mondelēz commented in a Q&A with brandchannel’s editor-in-chief that, “Heaven Sent was a major affirmation that brands can and should tell bolder, braver stories. As we look to the future we’ll be expanding this model across our power brands around the world.”

Those bolder and braver stories include a partnership with BuzzFeed to create an original content brand similar to BuzzFeed’s Tasty as well as a collection of branded mobile games featuring products such as Sour Patch Kids.

The brand is hoping to work with these publishers to create content that seamlessly integrates with their native editorial — for example, by creating a how-to video about how to turn Triscuits into “cheddar and sour cream cheese bites.”

“We are partnering with the best in the industry,” Henderson told AdAge. “We think that the content game is a really hard one and so we’re focused on partnering with those who are best equipped to understand their audience (and) communicate in a compelling way.

On October 20, Henderson will be speaking at Marketing Live about Mondelēz’s approach to storytelling, which is leading to real revenue within the company and repositioning the way marketing brings value to the organization. You can learn more about their innovative approach to content marketing and media monetization by registering for the event right now.


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