Nestlé: Putting TV ads online doesn’t work

Brand admits some of its online video advertising “hasn’t worked” and it is still learning how best to reach consumers on mobile.

Nestlé is focusing its efforts on “mastering video” after admitting that simply taking TV ads and putting them online “often doesn’t work”.

The FMCG company, which owns brands such as KitKat, Nescafe and Purina, says it is taking a “test and learn approach” to find out what works and share that across its brands so it does not “repeat mistakes and can replicate success”.

Speaking to Marketing Week at the Dmexco ad tech conference in Germany last week, Tom Buday, Nestlé’s head of marketing and consumer communications, said: “[Our focus is on] mastering in all of its manifestations in news feeds and on new and emerging platforms. We need to understand and optimise delivery of video messages online and on a mobile device.

“On Facebook, for example, we got really good at static video content and text. Through trial and error we figured out we should do it this way and avoid doing it that way. With video we have to test and learn, spread the learning throughout the company.”

Buday explained that one of the key challenges is be working out how long consumer attention is split between videos on and offline, and then whether there is time for Nestle to get across its message.

“The consumer will decide how many seconds they give us and we will need to fit within that constraint. We are not in control,” he added.

“There may well be environments where consumer behaviour is so restrictive in terms of the message we can actually deliver that it is best for Nestlé to walk away.”

Tom Buday, head of marketing and consumer communications, Nestlé

He added that while Facebook and Google do account for “a lot” of Nestlé’s investment in digital, the company “zero bases” its spending every year based on who it is trying to reach and where.

“We don’t go in with the mindset of this much for one platform, this for another. It’s at least in principle zero-based every year and it starts with who are we trying to reach, how are they living their lives and where in their daily journeys do we have a chance to create a brand encounter or experience that gets the job done,” he explained.

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