Mondelez Wants All of Its Agencies to Collaborate with BuzzFeed Now

By Patrick Coffee 

Yesterday you almost certainly learned that one of the world’s biggest advertisers had announced a definitive move away from that thing we call “traditional advertising.”

Unlike Sprint, Mondelez didn’t hire a PR veteran to launch its own in-house studio and take work away from its agencies of record. It will turn instead to media companies–namely, BuzzFeed and Fox to date–to help produce more non-ad stuff in the way of apps, games and sponsored content.

So what does that mean for the company’s many agency partners? They’ll be collaborating with the BuzzFeed team.

Today we spoke to the client’s global head of content and media monetization Laura Henderson and BuzzFeed’s global CRO Lee Brown.

Regarding the new model, Henderson said:

“This new approach will see us forming new models to build muscle memory and allow us to future-proof against the changing landscape. We are pushing our agency partners; creative and media, to think differently about how we develop content that engages our consumers, and ultimately how we rethink the advertising model to create more value for everyone.”

In other words, agency partners will be spending less time on their own ads. Brown said, “Our global partnership with Mondelez fits into two major buckets: branded content as well as the co-creation of unbranded content.” The example cited was this February Facebook video explaining how to use Triscuits to make cheddar and sour cream bites. It won’t win anything at Cannes this month, but it got more than 23 million views…which is more than any recent case study we’ve seen.

“The goal is for our agencies to collaborate in new ways with these partners,” said Henderson.

You may remember that Mondelez ended its relationship with Mother New York back in January after the agency had run creative on its Sour Patch Kids brand for several years. A rep told us, “We do not have plans for new TV at this time so they don’t currently have an assignment with us for this year.”

Seems like they were already moving toward the new model. Expect to hear this refrain more often in the coming months and years.