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Snacks and candy giant Mondelez International said today it would put Facebook at "the core of our media investment plans" as part of a new deal with the social network.
The pact, which is being described as a "global strategic partnership," covers 52 countries including the U.S. and will go "beyond a traditional media buy" to include "a joint commitment to innovation, opportunities to opt into Facebook's beta-testing programs, access to research and capability-building through immersion days in priority markets," Mondelez announced.
The deal was brokered by Aegis Media. Other markets covered include the U.K., France, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Gulf States.
The agreement comes as the owner of big global brands like Oreo and Nabisco plans to grow its North American mobile and digital spending from about a quarter of its media budget to more than half of all spending by 2016. Mondelez spent $198.7 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2012, the latest full year available from Kantar Media.
Mondelez did not disclose the dollar value or length of the deal, but a spokesman said "there's commercial value for us in terms of preferential rates based on our advertising commitment."
"Our recent campaigns with brands like Cadbury Creme Egg, Milka and Nilla Wafers demonstrated that Facebook can drive business growth, and this made us rethink our media approach," Bonin Bough, Mondelez's VP-global media and consumer engagement, said in a statement. "For the first time, we'll be able to incorporate Facebook at the core of our media investment plans. This isn't just about having a social-media strategy; it's about digitizing our entire approach to communications."
The deal comes about a year after Mondelez International gave Aegis more international strategic responsibilities after a media agency review that also included consolidating U.S. media-planning and -buying duties with Publicis Groupe 's MediaVest.
As part of the review Mondelez added a new strategic function called "global communications planning" that focuses on understanding the "consumer journey" and the "media touchpoints that can connect with that consumer."
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Today's deal makes it clear that the company plans to put Facebook at the center of those efforts. "As an industry, we're shifting back to a more personal way of marketing, leveraging technology to bring a personal touch to business with the scale and efficiency of mass media," Carolyn Everson, VP-global marketing solutions for Facebook, said in a statement. "Every day, people spend more of their time on mobile and on Facebook, which is built around people and the things they care about. We're excited to team up with Mondelez International to make marketing personal again."
Of course, Mondelez is also spreading its money around to other digital companies, including Twitter.
In a separate deal announced today, the company said it was creating an "Oreo Trending Vending Machine" in conjunction with Twitter at the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) that begins on Friday. Attendees will be able to create custom Oreo cookies by selecting from "trending flavors" displayed on a touch screen panel and then watch their custom cookie as it's built. The machines -- there will be two of them -- use 3D printing technology to "assemble the Oreo cookies in less than two minutes," according to Mondelez, which will encourage consumers to "follow the conversation using the Twitter hashtag #eatthetweet."
The experimental machines were made by Maya Design, a technology design firm and innovation lab.