TouchTunes, Thrillist Launch Cross-Platform Ad Partnership

Effective advertising is all about maximizing touchpoints. Now, Thrillist Media Group (TMG), the men’s digital media company, and TouchTunes, operator of interactive entertainment kiosks that users control via mobile devices, are partnering to introduce a first-of-its kind cross-platform ad solution that runs across mobile, Web, social, email and TouchTunes’ network of 60,000 bars and restaurants throughout the U.S.

This Thrillist In-Venue platform is created specifically with beer, spirits and QSR advertisers in mind. It is designed to provide brands with a marketing solution that starts on Thrillist’s digital platforms with custom content and native placements to drive advertiser brand awareness, perception and buying intent. Then, it culminates on TouchTunes with an in-venue version of the Thrillist custom content to provide patrons with specific brand recommendations to in-venue purchases. 

"It's about getting closer to our audience, where we recommend what to do, where to go, and then about being at those places," says Todd Anderman, president of sales, marketing and operations, Thrillist Media Group. "It might start with an article 'How to be a bartender's best friend' that becomes a digestible format on [TouchTunes Jutebox| that recommends men at the bar buy this vodka or ask for three mixes. You can see how useful it can be."

Both brands will collectively work to reach the right consumers at scale support clients engaged with this platform. TMG reaches more than 12 million millennials daily and works both directly with brands and ad agencies, while TouchTunes' audience is over 25 million nationwide. 

“Thrillist In-Venue is a natural extension of the TMG brand as we’ve been recommending what to eat and drink locally for nearly a decade,” said Thrillist Media Group co-founder & CEO Ben Lerer. “Over the last few years, we’ve also been perfecting our ability to ‘storysell.’ We do this by creating custom content on our media properties that we prove leads to a lift in perception and likeliness to purchase by having a call to action to buy that merchandise via our commerce businesses. Thrillist In-Venue accomplishes the same goal for our beer, spirits and QSR clients -- a full-funnel solution that reaches guys before they know where they'll be drinking all the way through the moment they’re deciding what to order.” 

This partnership underscores the importance of point-of-sale support. "We have learned so much through our eCommerce site Jack Threads about advertising, measurement and optimizing our sales goals," says Anderman. "One thing we learned is that there is a marketing funnel that ends by getting close to the customer. It's about the point-of-sale. When you think about beer, there are really only three places -- the bar, restaurant, and store -- where guys make the purchase. This partnership gets us there." 

The next challenge for these companies is measuring success. "How do we prove we increased sales? We are now doing research on the best ways to measure that," says Anderman. 

Also this week, TouchTunes announced another win with the addition of its network to Kinetic’s Active Exchange, making its lifestyle venues audiences available for programmatic buying to big advertising clients via Kinetic parent company WPP.
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