That, more or less, is Mondelez’s approach to its brand newsroom. But unlike other brands or agencies, Mondelez isn’t building or buying it. It’s using a renter’s model, according to to Laura Henderson, associate director-media & communications at Mondelez.
During an opening keynote conversation with OMMA Social emcee and Social Media Insider Cathy Taylor, Henderson said Mondelez partnered with Millennial focused mobile/Web news publisher Nowthisnews.com, because it gave its brands immediate access to content, production, and trending news capabilities -- not to mention some big ad opportunities.
“You hear about a lot o brands building a newsroom. For us, it was finding the right partner and plugging into their newsroom,” she explained, noting that Nowthisnews was chosen, because it was “built for the mobile age” in which “news is coming at us as it breaks throughout the day -- in stream.”
That, and the fact that it’s “social first,” made it the optimum platform for Mondelez, which pays to license its slot in Nowthisnews’ newsroom on a quarterly basis. The deal gives Mondelz brands access to Nowthisnews’ content, but also to its analytics to understand what stories are trending with Millennials, and which ones are poised to go “mainstream.”
The big question, she says, is what to do with that content and insight.
“We call it the baby,” she said, explaining the moment of brand/news conception, “This is the news story and this is the brand. What does the baby look like?”
In the most explicit brand applications, she said, the baby looks like “native” ad formats that feed into the newstream alongside the legit news content. And exactly what kind of content is that? Don’t expect to see Mondelez brands banking off Russian invasions, political discourse or the police blotter beat.
One example of a story Henderson cited for Mondelez’ Velveeta brand was about a kid who jumped into a puddle that turned out to be over his head.
To which Taylor suggested it’s all about the cute, eye-catching viral video-esque news, like the recent story about a cat that came to the rescue of a child being attacked by a dog. Or Henderson, added, a recent viral video about a cat that hugs humans.“It’s all about the cats,” Taylor quipped.