Mondelez media director Gerry D’Angelo on awards and the drive for truly ‘native’ content | M&M Global

Mondelez media director Gerry D’Angelo on awards and the drive for truly ‘native’ content

Mondelez International, the owner of brands such as Cadbury and Oreo, is looking to engage with the creative community to ensure it produces content “sympathetic” to individual platforms.

Gerry D'Angelo

Gerry D’Angelo, director, media Europe and global digital media partnerships at Mondelez, is to join the jury for this year’s Festival of Media Global Awards.

Speaking to M&M Global – like Festival of Media, a C Squared brand – D’Angelo says he is looking forward to gaining insights from other brands and client sectors – something which is far more challenging today than in previous years.

“The reason it is worth the time and effort from our perspective is if, particularly if you work client-side, you can become very introspective,” says D’Angelo. “It is much more difficult now to see other people’s work. Looking at entries to high-calibre competitions like the Festival of Media Awards is a really good way of getting a peek behind the curtain.”

Rather than simply gazing in admiration at award-winning work, the former Samsung marketer says it is important to understand the decisions taking to execute the campaigns and to learn from these insights – thereby ‘operationalising’ success.

“I find it inspiring to see the work, and the younger talent coming through. Above all else, I find the absolute pinnacle is working out how people got there,” he says.

“Were they briefed in an inspiring way? Are there clues that I can pick up on agency engagement, and who we engage, at what time, at what point, and how we pay them? For me, it’s not about being inspired by one idea, but being inspired so you can replicate the ideas. You then operationalise the way to success.”

Adjusting budgets

Like many advertisers, Mondelez has undergone a digital transformation, with the confectionery company adjusting budgets in response to the shift of eyeballs towards digital media platforms.

The decision to move budgets has been “relatively easy”, says D’Angelo, given the clear evidence that people are consuming media in new ways. What is more challenging, he argues, is working out whether it is investing in the right thing.

“We’re moving away from an environment where all checks and balances have been researched, to digital, where they are no longer in place. Verification in the broadest sense is a really big challenge,” he says.

“A really big priority is engaging with the creative community, in order to produce content for platforms”

The other major task Mondelez is undertaking is a drive to ensure its content is completely “native” to each social and mobile platform.

D’Angelo speaks of his frustration in meetings when content teams forget that videos displayed on Facebook’s Newsfeed will not auto-play with audio – something that should be a “no-brainer”, and has “enormous ramifications” for the creative process.

With a multitude of platforms now available to Mondelez to reach a mass audience – from WeChat to Snapchat, with its vertical emphasis on vertical video – D’Angelo believes the next step is to produce content sympathetic to the format of each individual channel.

“A really big priority is engaging with the marketing community and – most importantly – the creative agencies and creative community, in order to produce content for platforms. It is a small example of making sure we are producing work sympathetically, natively and organically for those platforms,” he adds.

The deadline for entries to Festival of Media Global 2016 has been extended to Friday 19 February – click here for more details on how to enter

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