Fresh from bankruptcy, Catalina has cash to back funny videos
Catalina, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, is using its newfound freedom from crushing debt to go somewhere that shopper marketing and analytics firms rarely, if ever, have gone before—funny video ads.
The new “Retail Nerds” video campaign from DNA Seattle pokes fun at the arcana of shopper segmentation and multi-touch attribution, subjects that usually provoke more yawns than laughs.
The idea, says CEO Jerry Sokol, is to drive home points about the breadth and intensity of Catalina’s shopper and marketing analytics capabilities and how the firm, best known for the checkout coupons that still account for about 80 percent of its business, is more than that.
In one ad, attendees at a cookout begin delving deeply into the proclivities of charcoal briquette buyers.
In another, data scientists on a date move quickly from small talk about mountain biking to a passionate lip-lock over their mutual love of multi-touch attribution.
The campaign will run in trade sites and elsewhere online, placed in part using a programmatic advertising business Catalina recently launched in conjunction with Liveramp.
Catalina is out to prove “our core value proposition, which is to move product in stores,” Sokol says. To back that, Catalina had KPMG audit results of campaigns using its coupons, showing an average 14.5% sales lift in A/B tests, he says.
But beyond the print-coupon business, Catalina distributes offers and ads across 309 million digital devices annually and manages shopper-card programs spanning tens of thousands of stores.
“The core engine is not so much the print,” he says. “It’s the data piece,” covering custom audiences across media channels.
Sokol has found that packaged-goods and retail customers increasingly bring data scientists to meetings, while Catalina recently has hired 20 data scientists of its own, based in Atlanta. He’s also seen an industry that long leaned on marketing-mix models developed originally for a time “when there were three TV networks” increasingly turning to more complex multi-touch attribution that tracks revenue effects in greater detail across a full range of media and marketing tactics.
“We’re finding prospective clients are doing things differently, and I want to be part of that,” says Catalina Chief Marketing Officer Marta Cyhan. “We decided doing things the traditional way won’t work,” she says, so wanted to try something different with the video campaign.