Target and Disney team up on media offering for advertisers
Bullseye and Mickey are teaming up again. Target’s in-house media company Roundel is partnering with Disney Advertising Sales on a new offering designed to arm Disney’s TV advertisers with data about Target shopper behavior. Marketers who buy ads on a Disney channel, such as ABC or ESPN, will be able to see if their ad spurred product sales on a Target shelf, for example. The offering is specific to Disney’s linear TV channels and excludes properties such as Hulu or Disney Plus.
The companies plan to announce their new collaboration at Advertising Week in New York City on Wednesday.
“The intent is to unlock this level of transparency and accountability in performance that hasn’t been available in the marketplace because these capabilities haven’t come together before,” says Kristi Argyilan, president of Roundel. She adds that Target and Disney will be able “to go back to a CPG [advertiser] and show them that when they ran these spots with Disney, we saw this lift in their sales through the Target sales channel.” She highlighted Target’s ability to provide both online and brick-and-mortar sales data. The retailer has more than 1,800 locations.
Argyilan notes early talks with advertisers have already yielded excitement at being able to provide this “closed loop” level of data when it comes to linear TV measurement.
“On the linear TV side, we haven’t had the tools and measurement in the same way that we’ve been able to do that on the digital side and yet the largest share of advertising budget still sit there,” says Rita Ferro, president of advertising sales and partnerships at Disney.
Jim Nail, principal analyst of B2C Marketing at Forrester, notes that the partnership fits into a growing trend of attribution when it comes to TV. However, he noted that the offering could be limited for advertisers who want to expand their scope beyond a single retailer and a single media brand.
“It doesn’t really answer the big question about the overall effectiveness of my advertising,” he says. “If you were trying to take this microcosm of your overall marketing plan and make assumptions of, ‘If it’s working this well in the Disney/Target combination then I’m going to assume it’s working this well everywhere,’ it may or may not be a valid assumption.” But he says that if more retailers and media companies team up, that could be an alluring proposition for advertisers.
According to the companies, Target and Disney have a 70-percent overlap in customers. The brands got together earlier this year for a retail collaboration that includes 25 Disney shop-in-shops within Target locations starting next month; 40 more locations are slated for 2020. The new ad offering expands the relationship. Argyilan says Target first started talking to Disney roughly 18 months ago about teaming up on a media initiative for marketers because of the shared traits of the two brands.
In recent years, Target has been focused on building out its reputation as a media brand. It first debuted its media network four years ago as a “guest access” platform that offered media opportunities for Target vendors; that offering was extended to national advertisers in 2016. In the spring, Target rebranded the platform to Roundel, a name derived from Target’s well-known bullseye logo.