Mondelez says Facebook ads generate sweeter ROI than TV

Mondelez International is reshaping its social media strategy to amplify the reach of its brands to new audiences after claiming a Crème Egg campaign drove the same purchase consideration shift through Facebook as TV, for a third less.


Cadbury’s Have a Fling Creme Egg campaign has paved the way for a new social media strategy for Mondelez.

The initiative, dubbed “Storytelling at Scale”, aims to help the company’s marketers reach potential customers who are not yet fans of their brand pages through a mix of curated content and paid-media.  

It sees the business move from serving what are effectively banner adverts as a way to reward its advocates to a model where it uses organic and paid media to increase the circulation of branded content.

The shift follows the successful trial of the strategy earlier this year around Crème Egg’s “Have a Fling” campaign when it invested “four to five times’ more than it ever had done on the brand’s Facebook activity in the UK.  The increased spend allowed the brand to treat daily posts as a “mini above-the-line” execution that a had a more consistent tone of voice with the main campaign than previous efforts. The posts with the best feedback along with the most popular user-generated content were then boosted to 18 to 25-year-old Facebook users en masse through paid media such as Promoted Posts. Additionally, some activity was ramped up around key TV events such as Britain’s Got Talent.

The strategy increased brand consideration on TV by around 20 per cent over three months, according to the snacks maker while 18 per cent was attributed to Facebook. It also led to a  7 per cent increase in single Creme Egg sales over the same period. Kantar Panel research was further able to demonstrate not only a link between Facebook and direct sales, but that the combination of Facebook and TV drove 66 per cent more sales than the sum of the two parts would suggest.

Jerry Daykin, European social media manager at Mondelez, says: “We launched the trial to find a new approach to our media mix that was going to reach 18 to 24 year-olds. We used a Facebook process called the Publishing Garage where we got all our agencies together to establish our content pillars.

“It’s not that what we were doing before wasn’t delivering results. Facebook doesn’t just have to be a deep engagement platform for an audience it can be something that broadcasts an engaging marketing message en masse.”

Mondelez will implement the model across all the pan-European marketing strategies for its brands in the coming months.

Sonia Carter head of European digital marketing and social media at Mondelez, told Marketing Week the approach was a “gamechanger” in the way it proves the effectiveness of social media to be a mass marketing channel and drive sales,

She adds: “We wanted to make sure that rather than trying to get across the entire campaign message in every single post, we were creating a rhythm throughout the course of the campaign. At the same time, we were looking at crossmedia efficiencies – so making TV perform better, but also making it work harder for Facebook.

“It’s not just about knocking out a banner [advert]. For us now, it’s about treating our posts as potentially having the same reach as a TV ad. We should start seeing increased investment in paid media in Facebook to drive reach. But we’re also hoping to apply this model across the whole social space as the model we have applies to other channels.

Facebook has repeatedly warned in the past that scale on its platform will not come for free and marketers face increasing difficulty breaking through the clutter to audiences. Mondelez’s social media revamp is the latest attempt from the company to do so following its high-profile strategic deals with Google and Twitter.

Key stats from Creme Egg “Have a Fling” Facebook activty

  • Facebook matched TV in driving brand consideration for a third of the cost.
  • Kantar ROI research shows consumers exposed to both TV and Facebook were 66 per cent more likely to purchase than the expected combined effect of both.
  • Reached over 90 per cent of their 18-24 UK target audience, 9 times each on average.
  • Drove 5 million active interactions with a total unique reach of over 15 million unique consumers.

Source: Mondelez International

Readers' comments (3)

  • I expected a rather different article to follow this headline. The headline bears very little resemblance to the actual story – and when did (claimed) purchase consideration become ROI (actual money through the tills)?

    The story is about how Mondelez is changing its social focus from trying to attract fans to trying to reach a broader audience (within the 17-24 age group in this instance) as part of an integrated campaign including TV advertising. The results show what many other studies have proven before: TV plus social is a very successful combination. Setting it up as a Facebook vs. TV story, which it obviously isn’t, is a bit odd.

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  • Interesting article but a lot if assertions. It would be great to have deeper views and analysis including methodology and more stats. Other than this the story is just a fairly usual combined media approach to reach and repeat. Where Mondelez is smart and realistic, is that they started shifting the focus of FB activity to reach,'rather than to get "likes".

    It's also key to underline the role of the tv content driver in the operation.

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  • Using a combination of media is generally more effective in its reach as compared to using one media. What is important is the conversion rate-the article does not describe how the reach and active interactions actually translated into purchases.

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