TV Upfronts

Disney, Walmart Team Up for Enhanced Targeting, Measurement Across Streaming

The new retailer-CTV partnership promises detailed sales attribution data

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Disney Advertising struck a deal with Walmart Connect that allows advertisers to target Disney’s streaming portfolio, including Disney+ and Hulu, using Walmart’s shopper data, the companies announced today.

In addition, Disney is joining Walmart’s Partner Lab, a group of connected TV and social platforms that the retailer works with to test new ad formats and measurement. With the news, Disney joins Roku, NBCUniversal, TalkShopLive and TikTok, which are all part of the retail giant’s Partner Lab initiative, established in 2022.

“At the highest level, Disney is on a journey to enable the datasets that work for clients,” Jamie Power, senior vice president of addressable sales at Disney, told ADWEEK. “It could be retail media data. It could be identity framework for one of our DSP (demand-side platform) partners. For us, we just want to make sure we’re creating an open ecosystem so they can transact on the data that works for them.”

Coming ahead of the TV upfront, these agreements follow a flurry of increased collaboration between retailers and CTV platforms and manufacturers amid the rise of retail media, which offers a wealth of first-party data from loyalty programs and purchases in the face of Google’s impending third-party cookie deprecation.

Disney announced a similar partnership with Kroger Precision Marketing last year. Meanwhile, Walmart agreed to acquire smart TV maker Vizio in a deal expected to close early next year, which will further bolster the company’s data.

The retail-CTV sweet spot

What sets Walmart Connect and Disney Advertising’s new deal apart, Power explained, is Disney’s Audience Graph. The company describes it as a “Rosetta Stone” for translating insights across ad-supported audience touch points, including digital, social and streaming, as well as household-level data.

“Not only are we doing the match to enable scale for audience targeting based on the amazing shopper data and bringing it to Disney, we’re also enabling that same scale to provide accuracy in measurement,” Power said.

Walmart’s purchase data will be synced with Disney’s Audience Graph using clean-room technology—which allows entities to combine datasets in a privacy-protected way—in a private marketplace. That will give advertisers more flexibility and clearer sales attribution, according to Disney.

It’s also the first time Disney has used shopper data in streaming, using programmatic and biddable technology to identify audience matches. For example, Power said advertisers could target audiences based on lapsed consumers or those open to switching brands.

“Approximately 145 million customers shop with us online and in stores weekly,” Ryan Mayward, senior vp of retail media sales for Walmart Connect, said in a statement. “Now, marketers will be able to apply those insights to their full-funnel campaigns to reach customers wherever they’re streaming Disney content.”

The new targeting capabilities will be available within Disney to a small group of advertisers spanning categories including consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics, telecommunications, auto, apparel and beauty this quarter, rolling out more broadly in the next couple of months.

“Retailers partnering with streaming services and CTV platforms are now part and parcel of retail media networks as they look to target the opportunity created by the fall in linear TV viewership—and to cope with the capabilities of Amazon in TV,” Colin Lewis, director of Retail Media Works, told ADWEEK. “The combination of Disney’s content depth and breadth alongside the reach and scale of Walmart’s audiences and their total omnichannel purchase data means that Walmart will have the most robust streaming choices for advertisers.”

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