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Intelligence Briefs

Contextual buying could be Warburton's money maker

Industry Contributor

Henry Innis, Founder & Partner

28 October 2019 2min read

Channel Seven’s strong Upfronts provided a welcome surprise return to media planning - with Seven leveraging AWS to identify various moods, environments and other elements that are critical to advertising environments. It’s a nice change from ‘claimed’ or ‘identified’ data which has littered the marketing landscape in recent years.


Key points:

  • Seven is focusing on a key part of advertising - context -  to fuel value of inventory and environment, helping brands align to the right environment alongside reach

  • The platform is built on AWS, which uses vision technology to categorise and sort at scale

My Takeout

Back to the future? It certainly feels like that’s the trend in media and marketing lately - but it’s good to see a considered, strategic and well articulated play emerging at Seven under new CEO James Warburton. 

I’ve long been an admirer of Warburton. The real story here seems to be twofold: double down on creating a strong content offering, then help brands align to the context that content creates for them. In a sense the context play is more closely linked to the wider Seven revival strategy than it might first appear.

There’s another external factor I can’t help but wonder if Seven is considering. The ACCC Digital Platforms report hints at a reduction in the power of cookies and what I would call the ‘dirty data broking’ landscape. Other players like Google and Apple are making moves in this space, which leaves context as a differentiator.

It’s also a space that is interesting for two additional reasons:

  • It differentiates the ad data offering sufficiently from other organisations
  • Google and Facebook will struggle to follow as they don’t naturally create high value content/context environments

I’ve long felt context should be a key differentiator for content creators in the advertising market, and it seems like Seven’s strategy to create premium, high value environments that are biddable with smart, contextual data recognition is the modern equivalent.

Long-term, you can see this working even harder if Seven can identify which brands will benefit from specific associations, too. 

There’s a lot to like in the new look, re-energised Seven. But contextual buying may be the gem that takes them to the next level.

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Henry Innis, Founder & Partner

Henry is a founder and partner at Mutiny. Mutiny focuses on predictive growth for enterprise businesses leveraging strategic, data and technology smarts. They work with with 7 of Australia's biggest brands and businesses on projects related to enterprise growth, data and corporate planning. 
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