Arvind Hickman
Apr 11, 2023

Unilever, Heineken and PepsiCo join ITV’s retail media trial

More than a dozen FMCG advertisers are testing ITV’s Matchmaker solution ahead of a July launch.

Data match: Unilever's deodorant brand Sure is trialing ITV Matchmaker
Data match: Unilever's deodorant brand Sure is trialing ITV Matchmaker

Larger advertisers – including FMCG giants Heineken, Unilever and PepsiCo – have been trialling a new ITV retail media solution that allows advertisers to target shoppers on ITVX using the loyalty data of Boots and Tesco.

Matchmaker, an ITV AdLabs solution first announced at ITV’s Palooza event last November, has also attracted the interest of smaller advertisers that previously would not advertise with the broadcaster, often due to budgetary constraints.

ITV’s Matchmaker solution, which is cookieless and fully-consented, uses InfoSum’s data collaboration platform to match ITV’s 37 million-strong audience with shoppers that use a Boots Advantage Card and or Tesco’s Clubcard. 

This means advertising campaigns that run on ITVX can be more efficiently targeted and cost effective. It also means the sales uplift of a campaign can be accurately measured.

According to IAB Europe, the retail media market is worth €8bn (£7bn) and largely dominated by digital media platforms, such as Amazon Marketplace. ITV’s Matchmaker aims to tap into this rapidly growing sector of advertising.

Campaign understands more than 15 brands are trialling ITV’s retail media solutions.

Brands testing Matchmaker Tesco include PepsiCo’s Walkers, Heineken, and Unilever’s Magnum.

Unilever’s Sure, John Frieda and Estrid Razors are among those trialling the Matchmaker Boots.

ITV will share the findings of the trials over the next two months and roll out Matchmaker to the wider FMCG market in July.

ITV controller of advanced advertising Jayesh Rajdev told Campaign it's not just large FMCG giants who have shown interest in ITV Matchmaker.

“What has been really interesting is the volume of smaller brands that haven’t previously advertised on ITV that are interested in Matchmaker. This offers them a more efficient and effective entry point to advertise on ITVX,” he said.

“Those advertisers benefit from really accurate measurement where we match those that saw an ad on ITVX who went and purchased a product in Tesco or Boots.

"The initial brand trial results will emerge from June onwards. However, ITVX campaigns that Tesco and Boots previously ran utilising their own data have seen significant sales uplifts versus control."

Rajdev said ITV's Matchmaker could open the doors of TV advertising to “hundreds” of smaller brands that previously would be priced out.

Unilever’s digital commerce director Katharine Crosslan said: “Utilising retailer loyalty data allows us to deliver relevant ads to the most relevant audience, with the benefit of closed loop measurement.”

Campaign UK

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