NEW YORK - Thursday, March 3 – Disney’s investments in technology, data and insights took center stage this week. The media goliath kicked off its Tech & Data Week on Monday, February 28 with a fireside chat between President Rita Ferro and MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan. In the days following, the Company made significant announcements, bolstering its leadership across measurement capabilities, data offerings, programmatic technology, self-service solutions, ad experiences and more. The week culminated in the second annual Tech & Data Showcase hosted by Disney Advertising executives, Rita Ferro and Lisa Valentino, and Disney Advertising Platforms leader, Jeremy Helfand.
“Disney’s investment in data, technology and automation is an ever-evolving journey, resulting in enriched, transactable outcomes along the way,” said Rita Ferro, president, Disney Advertising. “The commitments we shared one year ago, are being activated upon today. Not only are we announcing new advancements at our second annual Tech & Data Showcase, we’re showing and proving how we’re delivering on our promises to clients.”
Ferro opened the 55-minute presentation with an overview of Disney’s global reach and the innovations successfully propelling the Company into its next 100 years, while confidently delivering how the team is building upon its future-forward solutions. She also touted another major investment and priority for the company: the strategic salespeople, data scientists, researchers, product innovators and technologists working to remove biases from technology and data to ensure a more inclusive viewing experience. Lisa Valentino, evp, Client Solutions and Addressable Enablement then took the floor with Jeremy Helfand, svp, Advertising Platforms where they quipped back and forth, remarking on the numerous achievements of their respective teams these past 12 months. The affable dynamic between the two exemplified the synergy between their teams, advertising and technology – a collaboration that fuels the innovations displayed this week.
A chorus of clients and agency partners underscored results and use cases in between each section of the presentation, demonstrating how Disney’s data and technology are advancing their business goals.
Hyundai lauded the expansion of a multi-year relationship between Samba TV and Disney. The True Reach & Frequency tool gave the automaker a look into the incremental and de-duplicated reach across the entire Disney ecosystem.
“Given how much the television landscape has shifted, as part of our marketing efforts, we want to make sure we’re reaching cord cutters in our buys. This new tool does a terrific job ensuring we’re connecting with every customer we can. It’s a solution we will continue to use to measure the true impact of our campaigns,” offered Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America.
Access to data is only as meaningful as the insights it delivers. Disney continues to make it easier for advertisers to interpret how insights translate into action and conversion through collaboration with agencies and vendors.
“Our Disney partnership is about setting the standard for the future of media accountability, and a more accurate understanding of consumer engagement and outcomes. It’s where we need to go as an industry, and Omnicom Media Group is proud to work with Disney in leading the way forward,” added Kelly Metz, managing director, Advanced TV and Linear Activation, Omnicom Media Group.
Omnicom Media Group was an early adopter of Disney’s Clean Room, powered by Disney Select, Disney’s robust library of over 1,800 proprietary segments.
Disney’s Clean Room solution delivers insights, measurement and activation for advertisers in the most secure way possible – a multifaceted, agile and cloud agnostic solution that offers ultimate flexibility for brands, with providers including Snowflake, Habu and InfoSum.
According to Bill Stratton, Snowflake’s global head of Media, Entertainment and Advertising Vertical, “Snowflake’s cross-cloud data sharing technology allows for frictionless data collaboration with no data movement – this unlocks audience insights, audience activation and planning measurement. Not only is Disney first to market with this technology, they’ve upleveled the offering with unmatched audience segmentation powered by this innovative data collaboration to continue to lead the industry.”
The presentation wasn’t solely about success; new offerings were introduced. Helfand, who’s been at the helm of some of the industry’s leading ad formats, stole the show with his musical stylings when debuting the viewer first ad experience, affectionately titled, “Let’s All Go to the Pantry” sung to the tune of the 1957 musical advertisement, “Let’s All Go to the Lobby.” Designed specifically for films, this new format will allow brands to integrate directly into the creative, including the ability for viewers to purchase “concessions” all without leaving their living room. Also on the horizon is the “Know Your Movies!” format, centered on relevant trivia and factoids based on the film, filmmaker or genre the viewer is watching. Additionally, Helfand commended new commerce opportunities for live sports and streaming TV coming soon.
The event concluded with an in-person live Q&A session at the Live with Kelly and Ryan Studio. Moderator Danielle Brown, svp, Data Enablement and Category Strategy, tossed audience questions to event hosts Valentino and Helfand, as well as Dana McGraw, vp, Audience Modeling and Data Science; Sylvester Phifer, vp Self Service; and Matt Barnes, vp, Programmatic.
The lively discussion brought forth insightful remarks from Disney’s leadership:
“Data is currency and the fact that we can transact on that in real time is exciting for brands.” - Matt Barnes
“Our Disney Audience Graph is the backbone of everything. If you’re interacting with us, you’re leveraging that graph.” - Dana McGraw
“We’re not in the business of score carding vendors, but we are in the business of ensuring the right KPIs are reflected in the vendors we choose...The expectation is the ability to scale.” - Lisa Valentino
“Disney is a global brand and it can be daunting to break through – with our self-service business, we’re making it easy for small brands, and now local and performance marketing agencies to activate with our portfolio.” - Sly Phifer.
“Feedback is a gift. We expect to continue to have a rolling thunder of innovation coming to the market. Clients and partners are a vital part of our ecosystem. Interoperability in the platform is a big focus for us. We will continue to develop technology that allows us to move at the velocity the market requires.” - Jeremy Helfand
Lisa’s parting words to the advertising community were simple, “Challenge us. So much of our advancements and change comes from clients and partners challenging us.”
Disney’s Week-long Display Rolled out Key Announcements Bolstering Their Investments:
Tori Fernandes: Tori.Fernandes@disney.com
Kelly Liyakasa: Kelly.S.Liyakasa@disney.com
Corinne Kneizys: Corinne.Kneizys@disney.com