Buzzfeed: Brand advertising is what makes programmatic work

Cannes 2014: Brand advertising is what makes programmatic work says Jonah Peretti, co-founder and chief executive officer at Buzzfeed. 

Jonah Peretti Buzzfeed
CEO Jonah Peretti argues programmatic just ”finds people who are already going to buy a product” while brands “inform and inspire”.

Speaking  on a panel hosted by Mindshare and presented by Marketing Week editor Ruth Mortimer at Cannes, he added: “We are in the business of brand advertising primarily, so when search and programmatic say they have high measurability, mostly what they are doing is finding people who are already going to buy a product and capture the last click to take credit for it.

“What brand advertisers are so crucially important for is figuring out how you influence behaviour to inform and inspire consumers who don’t know the product exists or that the product is right for them. You don’t do a Google search and you certainly don’t click a banner unless you are already excited about the product.” 

Brands are becoming aware of the targeting possibilities of programmatic. Proctor and Gamble is reportedly investing 75 per cent of its digital media spend in programmatic by the end of this year, while Mondelez has just announced it aims to buy all online video ads programmatically. 

Peretti stressed that 82 per cent of P&G’s spend is on brand advertising and that spend is what makes the programmatic work. 

Many of the campaigns being celebrated at Cannes Lions involve long-term brand building, where as Buzzfeed focuses on real-time reactive content.

Peretti says: “We are seeing the decline of effectiveness in legacy advertising where banner ads, TV and print advertising are having to charge more and deliver less because the attention is shifting to social and mobile.”

Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer at Mindshare North America, argued that the data gleaned from social ensures brands are being reactive. He says: “We are seeing positive data and therefore have an ability to react quickly and have conversations with the audience. This means we can react more like we do in customer service channels.” 

Read Marketing Week’s exclusive profile interview with Jonah Peretti here. 


Lara O'Reilly

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Lara O'Reilly

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