Interactive Soccer Ads Boost Mondelez Awareness 220%

These preroll promos are fun and games

Brands are looking for more action with their video ads, and snack giant Mondelez and Bic are two that are betting that big buttons on preroll ads are interesting enough to get consumers to spend a few extra seconds with their promos.

In May, Mondelez announced plans to turn all of its digital and social ads into e-commerce-enabled ads. The first multibrand U.S. campaign to come out of that investment was a Women's World Cup ad for Chips Ahoy cookies, Trident gum and Ritz Crackers with video vendor Innovid.

Fifteen-second preroll ads started running on Fox.com's desktop and mobile sites in June, when the World Cup kicked off, and continued through July 5, when the U.S. women's team beat Germany in the final.

An image of U.S. player Alex Morgan popped up in the bottom left corner of the ads. Hovering over Morgan for a few seconds opened an overlay on the video where people could watch other clips, shoot a virtual soccer ball, follow a Twitter hashtag or click through to buy snacks at Walmart, Target and Amazon.

As the tournament progressed, the snack brand started turning out more real-time content from its social media newsroom to pipe into the ads.

Between June and July, Mondelez's promos got a 220 percent boost in awareness, and engagement went up 88 percent.

Mondelez declined to state how many people clicked through to buy snacks but said the interactive portion of the ad got people to spend 66 extra seconds with the campaign.

"For the first time, we were leveraging paid media to dial up our own earned media beyond the 15-second video," said Stephen Chriss, senior director of U.S. consumer engagement and marketing services at Mondelez.

Mondelez's campaign was one of the first to come out of Starcom Mediavest Group's Content@scale effort, which helps brands build ads on the fly with ad-tech partners like Innovid.

"We have seen increases in awareness, just in perception, when you have that relevant content," said Lindsay Lichtenberg, svp and director, publishing platform and partnerships, Starcom Mediavest Group.

Meanwhile, Bic and agency Cramer-Krasselt are seeing similar results as part of the brand's all-digital marketing budget for 2015. The razor brand started running mobile and Web-video ads in March with an interactive game in which people click or swipe the screen to shave a long-haired, heavily bearded man. Once he's cleaned up, folks can watch videos or go to Bic's social-media pages.

All told, people spent 65 seconds with Bic's ads—more than double what they would spend watching a 30-second preroll. "We look at it as a commercial within a commercial," said Meghan Salonia, Bic's brand manager.

A few extra seconds spent clicking around on ads with a lot of action may not seem unexpected, but Tal Chalozin, CTO and co-founder of Innovid, said even a little bit of extra time pays off for brands.

"This whole idea is that marketers have been building a lot of content. What we wanted to do is build an easy way to take all that content and put it inside your video experience," he said.