Disney Ad Sales Bolsters Automation, Data Capabilities

Disney Ad Sales

Disney Ad Sales said that it has expanded its data handling and automation capabilities.

The company said that it is moving to the next phase of the clean room capability it offers, signing on Horizon Media for a pilot test and working with The Trade Desk on programmatic activations.

Disney is also expanding its automation products, DRAX, the Disney Real-Time Ad Exchange and its self-service platform.

Disney’s clean room solution was announced last October. It lets advertisers using the first-party data used to create Disney Select audience segments to target and measure the impact of their ad campaigns.

Also: Disney’s Rita Ferro Aims To Triple Upfront Diversity Commitments

“Disney Advertising’s mission is simple: Make it seamless for our clients to plan, transact and measure against the metrics pivotal to their business, through technology, automation and data,” said Lisa Valentino, executive VP, client solutions & addressable enablement at Disney Advertising. “The expansion of Disney Advertising’s Clean Room allows marketers to transact on first-party data that delivers real results for businesses, and drives better ad experiences for consumers.”

Also: Disney Working With Samba TV, Comscore, Nielsen on Measurement

Horizon will be working with Disney to see how ads using the data drive outcomes for brands.

“This is the next step to deliver more efficient and successful media campaigns across the Disney footprint,” said David Campanelli, executive VP, chief investment officer at Horizon Media. “As the industry continues  to move towards outcome-based buys, it’s paramount to have accurate measurement solutions built with integrity.”

Disney Advertising’s clean room works with data technology providers Habu, InfoSum and Snowflake. 

Since launching DRAX, Disney said it has increased its biddable transactions by 70% and executed more than 8,000 video companies. 

Disney Select audience segments will be available in biddable marketplaces via Drax, enabling first-part data activation programmatically.

“Our promise to advertisers is to provide ultimate choice and control, simplicity and most importantly – drive outcomes – as the marketplace pivots to automation,” said Matthew Barnes, VP, programmatic sales, Disney Advertising. “Disney Advertising is bolstering this commitment by offering scale and reach, regardless of marketplace or transaction type, without compromising precision.”

Disney said it is committed to automating up to 50% of its business in the next three years.

The company is also expanding its self-service business to include small and media size agencies.

Additionally, advertisers will have turnkey access and seamless setup through the platform, known as the Hulu Ad Manager, with a faster time from sign-up-to-launch campaigns.

“We’re not building this platform for our users; we’re building it with our users. We’ve proven the impact of offering advertising with efficiency and cost-effectiveness with small businesses, and now we’re ready to bring that to agencies,” said Sylvester Phifer, VP, Self Service Platform Sales. “As we welcome small and medium-sized agencies to the platform, we’ll continue to innovate based on what our clients want to see.”

A pilot program will enable 25 local performance and independent agencies to access the platform this spring.

Disney said that since the Self Service Platform was launched last year, its business has grown nine-fold with more than 75,000 businesses signing up to advertise across Hulu using a credit card.

New York Institute of Technology was one of the small businesses that used the platform. Its campaign was designed to drive registrations for its virtual open house.

“The ability for us to stay nimble was great, especially during the pandemic,” said Briana Bronchick, director of marketing, New York Institute of Technology. “Being able to make changes on the fly and to launch campaigns quickly – and being able to do that ourselves – was huge. In the current environment, it’s a must.”

As a part of its inclusion commitment, Disney launched a research study in collaboration with Advertiser Perceptions, to understand the unique needs of underrepresented small and medium sized businesses. The study, completed in January, found that many businesses owners are looking to drive customer acquisition, increase sales, and build awareness, but noted that 46% identified “insufficient advertising budget” as a pain point.

“We’ve learned a lot from this study, and now it’s time for action,” said John Campbell, senior VP, client partnerships, Disney Advertising. “Not only are we expanding the Self Service Platform to give more businesses access, but we are also creating an inclusive, on-demand curriculum for underrepresented small businesses. In tandem with our Project Elevate Initiative, this guide will illustrate the best approach to automation in order to drive business goals forward.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.