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Mondelez International Jumps on the Content Wagon

Just two weeks ago, it was Pepsi making headlines with the opening of their Creators League content studio, in New York. "Our goal is to really behave like a Hollywood studio," said Brad Jakeman, President of PepsiCo's global beverage group. “The holy grail for me is to leverage the incredible power of our brands and their equities to essentially fund their own marketing," This week, it is Mondelez International joining the ranks of advertiser-turned-media company. The lines of media demarcation are beginning to look like red-clay marked lines in the 5th set of a match at the French Open. I met Laura Henderson, Global Head of Content & Media Monetization for Mondelez, while she was attending Brand Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival 2016 this past January. In preparing for our interview with her, I asked about the “media monetization” in her title. The answer was simple, “we intend to create content good enough to make money.”

This week, Laura and the team at Mondelez are lifting the veil a bit to reveal the strategy behind their thinking. “We’re shifting from a media buyer to more of a content producer and investor.” And here’s why; “The audience is in the driver’s seat; choosing when, how, and where to watch content. They can skip ads, block ads, and avoid ads in their entirety. Advertising is no longer an assumed part of the content consumption equation. It’s wreaking havoc on the economics of the industry.” Says Ms. Henderson. Besides Pepsico and Mondelez, add Marriott to the list of advertisers intent on creating content that does more than sell soda pop, cookies and hotel rooms. Just watch this video with David Beebe, VP Global Creative and Content for Marriott:

Brands everywhere will be watching how these plans unfold in the coming months and years. If paid media, aka “interruptive” is an increasingly expensive and ineffective means to persuade consumers to buy your stuff, then will shifting part of those media budgets pay bigger dividends? Mondelez advertising spend was $1.5 billion in 2015, according to their annual report. There are many questions to be asked and the answers won’t be revealed until sometime in the future. One thing for sure, the world’s largest advertisers realize that business as usual is not going to produce the same results. We will see more and more brands investing in content creation and distribution schemes in an effort to maintain and strengthen their market rankings and sales.

Coming Next Week! Episode 1 – Brand Storytelling There is a big story unfolding and we will do our best to bring it to you. Last week, we released the trailer for Brand Storytelling: A Docu-Series. Next week, we will publish the first of five volumes, which will live on the YouTube Channel. These [20-30 min] volumes feature interviews with marketers, agencies, filmmakers, media companies, influencers, and more. Set some time aside, tune in with your team, discuss amongst yourselves, and enjoy. These shows should be discussion starters for agencies and brands intent on making a successful transition from interruptive advertising to creating content that delivers value first. So Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and keep up with the latest videos and posts! -- Mondelez Makes Moves to Look More Like a Media Company Mondelez Dives Into Content Creation in New Media Approach Mondelez to create more apps, online videos in advertising shift Stride Gum Presents Heaven Sent: A Mad Intense Jump -- Watch for weekly news updates from Brand Storytelling in your inbox, and share this with other storytellers in your network. Of course, if you’d like to contribute to the story, I'd love to hear from you. Email me:

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