GumGum Surfs The Contextual Wave; Kraft-Heinz To Increase Budgets, Cut Agencies

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Stick To It

GumGum began life as an image-recognition startup that served contextual ads alongside relevant images. The company muddled along during a period when contextual was not exactly in vogue, but now appears well positioned to seize on headwinds faced by user-level addressability. The company has raised $22 million and expanded on its foundation in computer vision, building an in-video advertising capability and brand safety technology for publishers, TechCrunch reports. “They have outpaced the market in terms of growth year after year, maintained profitability and now there’s an obvious inflection point at hand for contextual advertising in digital,” according to new board member (and former Live Nation CMO) Lisa Licht. More.

Back To Branding

Despite planning to increase media spend by 30% this year, Kraft Heinz is cutting the number of agencies it works with in half. The CPG giant will whittle down its creative roster from 36 agencies to 19, AdAge reports. On the media side, it will begin “… redirecting dollars disproportionately toward support of our flagship brands,” CEO Miguel Patricio said on the company’s earnings call. Kraft Heinz demonstrated this intent during the Super Bowl this year, where it aired spots for Heinz Ketchup and Planters Peanuts. The company will focus on turning around its nuts and food services businesses in the United States, and scale back on innovation projects to double down on fewer but larger efforts. More.

The TV Tango

Addressable television is the “shiny new thing” in the European advertising market, but don’t believe everything you hear from vendors, according to John Tigg, Cadent’s new VP and managing director of EMEA. “It feels like almost everybody is jumping on board and saying that they have a role to play in this ecosystem. And the reality is that that’s just not true,” Tigg told Video Ad News. Some companies lean into confusion around TV advertising jargon (Advanced TV? Addressable TV? OTT? CTV?) to inflate their status in the category. “The content is owned by the broadcasters and it’s distributed by the platform operators. So if you only have access to inventory on OTT apps, then you’re going to have a very small business.” More.

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