This week on PMW: trackable packaging and Facebook’s new brand safety controls

How is Tetra-Pak helping CPG brands scale-up their smart packaging? And how are Coca-Cola and Walmart using Snap for Black Friday sales? We round-up the biggest news and moves in performance marketing this week...

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

To address marketer’s growing concerns over appearing next to controversial content, Facebook is giving performance marketers extra management over the place their adverts appear in NewsFeed environments. The controls, found in the “Advertisements Preferences” settings tab, let advertisers stop Facebook from operating their adverts towards three subject classes —’information and politics’, ‘debated social points’ and ‘crime and tragedy’ ‘— within the NewsFeed. In early testing, the Meta-owned firm found that advertisers that excluded the information and politics class have been in a position to keep away from adjacencies 94% of the time. Comparable outcomes have been discovered for the tragedy and battle classes (99%) and debated social points class (95%). 

The internet of things just got bigger (and more measurable), with Tetra Pak launching a ‘universal’ connected experience accessed via smart packaging, available to all brands. The new 'Tetra Pak Iberia' connected experience, created in partnership with digital experiences studio Appetite Creative, helps CPG brands engage directly with customers without the need for initial digital development costs. The ‘white labelled’ web-based app, accessed via QR codes found on Tetra Pak packaging, can be adapted and tailored to brand and product requirements. It tracks real-time interaction, such as the product flavour scanned, average engagement time, location, scan rate, number of visitors, return visitors and social media shares, including GDPR compliant personal data to enable the brand to optimise its marketing and better understand customers. Divided into two different segments, the app offers versions suitable for young people and adults. Both options offer templated functionality which includes quizzes, AR experience to showcase the brand’s packaging in 360 degrees, interactive games with leaderboards and competition prizes. 

Publisher technology solution Clickio has launched its Core Web Vitals Monitoring platform. With Google recently announcing that page experience ranking will be coming to desktop and mobile, Core Web Vitals are set to become even more important than they already are. This means the ability to monitor them in real-time with real user data is critical. Clickio’s platform provides this, enabling publishers to remain compliant with all three vitals by tracking their scores in real time and flagging when vitals drop below a certain level. This means publishers can make adjustments to ensure Google’s updates don’t negatively impact their search rankings. 

Playable Factory has announced a new feature for its playable ads creator, which enables brands, advertisers and mobile game makers to create infinite versions of playable ads or interactive ads via its toolkit, Gearbox.  Playable Factory works with mobile gaming brands including Voodoo, Zynga, King, Kwalee, Rovio Entertainment, Ruby Games, Ketchapp and Gram Games, helping them to create playable ads that have captured the attention of millions of global mobile gamers, across multiple platforms, app stores and territories. 

London-based, social and live-shopping platform AGORA, has announced the launch of the AGORA marketplace, powered by enterprise marketplace SaaS platform Mirakl. The beauty commerce app combines a livestream shopping experience with a marketplace of thousands of products. The app allows all beauty fans to monetise their talent by creating and sharing live and recorded video content that links directly to products from their favourite brands. With 360,000 registered users and over 5,000 content creators, the AGORA app is at the forefront of this trend for social beauty commerce in Europe. For brands sold via the app, the marketplace offers the opportunity to reach new audiences via an existing peer-to-peer sales channel and also minimises advertising costs.

Customer data platform Zeotap is now available on Google Cloud Marketplace. The new partnership means that Google Cloud customers can now offset their Zeotap platform subscription costs against their Google Cloud spending commitments, meaning that they can onboard Zeotap at no additional cost to their budget.  Google Cloud Marketplace offers vetted integrated solutions, helping its users identify and purchase the third-party solutions that help them move to, build on and work in the platform. 

Digital Envoy has launched a Data for Impact programme, offering affordable IP and geolocation data to non-profit and research-based organisations for projects including: the protection of human rights, preparing for natural disasters, and the spread of Covid-19 among others, and has already partnered with the COVID Alliance, MIT and The World Bank. The programme aims to educate consumers about the realities and benefits of IP and geolocation data, reform the location data industry from the inside out and provide the advantages of location data to causes and organisations that otherwise might not have access to it. 

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

This Black Friday, Hollister is launching a shoppable augmented reality holiday marketplace on Snapchat. Hollister joins Coca-Cola, Prime Video, Under Armour, Verizon and Walmart in offering virtual Snap storefronts in time for the holidays. The marketplace goes live on Friday and runs through the end of the year. Hollister will sell a selection of comfort-focused apparel and gifts from two of its three brands, Hollister and Social Tourist, via a shop meant to look like a modern convenience store. Snap claims that its AR lenses accumulate 6 billion plays a day, and Hollister hopes to court the platform’s active teen user base. 

Furniture retail company Sofology has worked with AI search company Yext to increase organic search traffic and optimise listings. Prior to the integration, Sofology was managing listings on a channel-by-channel basis, with employees sporadically updating the likes of Google and Facebook on an ad-hoc basis while unable to manage many other search platforms. This combined with the brand’s growth and the opening of new stores was making it harder to keep customers informed throughout the pandemic. With 80% of customers wishing to visit stores to complete the “sit test” before purchase, online listings also took on an even greater importance when the COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted the customer purchase journey. By integrating Yext, Sofology was able to build a central source of truth with a knowledge graph which meant that information for every store, across over 200 search endpoints were now up to date. Further to this, Sofology has seen an incredible 7x ROI from foot traffic in the back half of 2020 alone. The furniture company was also able to drive 33% year over year click growth in year one and a further 95% click growth in year two. 

O2 is opening the doors to its new “AR Store of the Future” on Snap as part of its Black Friday activations. In a UK telco first, from Black Friday until 8 December, users will be able to visit a virtual O2 store on Snapchat and shop three hero Samsung products by clicking on them to explore more detail and even buy through a Shop Now button present throughout the lens experience. Created in partnership with Snap, this campaign is part of O2’s Black Friday campaign created to promote the Black Friday offers on three key Samsung products - Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and Samsung Galaxy Watch4.

Eldon Square, the UK’s third busiest shopping centre in the UK, has partnered with Mediaworks to leverage its media buying and data-driven targeting services. The agency’s approach will plug Eldon Square into its global partnerships with leading digital platforms, publishers and traditional advertising channels. The partnership aims to inspire the regions shoppers and bring them back to the city centre by reminding them of the premium retail and dining experiences that Eldon Square, in Central Newcastle upon Tyne, offers as the destination of choice for the region.

INCA, GroupM’s influencer marketing solution, has launched its talent partnership initiative, creating a simplified way to connect brands with influential online creators. The undertaking kick-starts with a focus on representing diverse range of voices through Channel Mum, a female and family influencer marketing agency, and Sharper, an influencer marketing agency with expertise across a vast range of verticals from fashion to fitness. The scheme offers verified partner status to premium creators in advance of brand campaigns, to streamline campaign implementation and provide advertisers the confidence to pursue the benefits of influencer marketing. A number of General Mills brands have already run campaigns that benefited from the talent partnership.  

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

Native ad platform Outbrain has bought video intelligence AG (vi), a Swiss-based contextual video technology platform for digital and Connected TV media owners. Outbrain will acquire vi for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $55million. The acquisition strengthens Outbrain’s video offering for media owners and advertisers and combines contextually matched content and in-stream video advertising for desktop, mobile and CTV.

In-game platform Adverty is partnering with programmatic ad monetisation platform, Smart AdServer to facilitate ad buyers in the gaming space. The partnership will provide advertisers with access to a large pool of thematic advertising inventory, enabling them to increase their reach and campaign performance while respecting the user gaming experience.

Sell-side programmatic ad buying platform Pubmatic has inked a partnership with online parenting community FirstCry Parenting to make its unique audience data segments available across PubMatic’s premium inventory via Audience Encore. The partnership will enable media buyers to leverage FirstCry Parenting’s audience segments across all digital screens and channels, including mobile, connected TV, and the open web, on PubMatic’s premium inventory. The direct integration allows buyers to activate data at the supply level which can lead to increases of more than 200% in campaign performance via improved scale, viewability, and click-through rate.

Ones to watch: movers and shakers in performance marketing

GrowthOps Asia has made strategic appointments to strengthen its teams in the Southeast Asia region. David Isaac Mathews was appointed Chief Growth Officer for the Southeast Asian region, and in his place, Shaad Hamid was named General Manager of the Singapore agency. GrowthOps has also appointed Chris Greenough as General Manager of Malaysia. Between Singapore and Malaysia, Hamid and Greenough oversee a diverse team of some 200 professionals, in highly sought-after technology, user experience, creative, consulting, and marketing roles. GrowthOps Asia is a marketing technology agency known for generating positive outcomes from high-impact digital experiences. To help companies accelerate their growth, the agency derives insights from end-to-end Customer Experience (CX) audits, and marries those insights with their knowledge of leading digital experience platforms(1). This strategic approach results in highly effective marketing campaigns.

Merkle B2B has expanded its Creative Practice leadership team with four new hires aiming to boost creativity to accommodate for increased client needs in the expectation economy. The key hires are Jonathan Turner, formerly at McCann, who joins as managing partner to lead the creative practice within Merkle B2B. Rob Crilley, formerly at The&Partnership, joins as client partner. Laura Jennings, formerly in dentsu growth roles, joins as sales lead. Gary O’Donnell, formerly at Momentum, joins as operations director. The new hires come at a pivotal time for Merkle B2B, who are seeking new ways to drive growth, through creativity, in a dynamic sector.