LATAM Presence Still Small at Cannes Lions; Undertone Acquires Sparkflow

ExchangeWire Research’s weekly roundup in Latin America brings an overview of Latam ad tech leaders in Cannes; Sparkflow’s acquisition by Undertone; and a case study using data for high-end hotels in the region.

Latin American at Cannes Lions

ExchangeWire spoke with ad tech leaders in LATAM about their presence at Cannes Lions. Although some Latin American leaders will use the event to reach prospects and straighten their relationship with the industry in general, the region’s participation is still small.

Main names such as Criteo, Turn, Cadreon and Affiperf left LATAM aside of the events next week. Overall, they recognise the increasing participation of ad automation in the event, but also see an evident gap.

Pedro Gonçalves, managing partner, Cadreon, explains: “There is an enormous distance between how much we have been talking about ad tech and how much is really being done: maybe this is a long-term legacy of the event itself, but it is clear that the industry has been intensifying the questioning about this gap, between concept and reality”.

Lara Krumholz, DynAdmic, agrees. “Digital and ad tech are the pillars of the advertising market, even though it is still under applied. The players’ participation in Cannes follows a market demand created by searching for a better understanding of ad tech, specially from marketers and agencies, that are keen to adopt technologies and keep innovating to gain share”, Krumholz said. Yet, she believes it is essential, as a LATAM leader, to be at the event to connect with stakeholders and network with the industry.

Patrizio Zannata, managing director LATAM, Rubicon Project, also sees Cannes Lions as a crucial moment. The company is one of this year’s sponsors and therefore will have Latin American teams there. He estimates 300 members of the Brazilian industry will be at the festival this year.

Undertone acquires Sparkflow

Undertone has closed a deal to acquire Sparkflow, a self-service platform to create and manage ad campaigns. Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and with sales offices in other cities such as Sao Paulo, Brazil, the merge marks Understone’s first operations in Latin America.

“We have three goals. First, work with new formats, designed to meet cross-screen demands, and specially mobile capabilities. Second, incorporate the web creation platform so that our team can help advertisers and agencies to build their campaigns quickly, enhancing our go-to market. Third, and most important, the technology — it will give us a lot of opportunities to work closely with publishers, that need new formats to sell and compete in the open marketplace”, said Eric Franchi, co-founder, Undertone.

Sparkflow was founded in 2013 by Sebastián Alberto Miret, Gabriel Sánchez Catena and Rodrigo Oscar Vazquez, and has launched its technology in the market one year ago. The platform was built using HTML5 and responsive design to deliver formats across devices, including social media. The goal is to have the products integration started in 90 days, being able to offer programmatic and non-programmatic deals across the region. For the near future, Franchi said the objective is also to provide a self-service tool to medium advertisers that use technology in their marketing strategies.

It was the second ad tech M&A in the region in the week — RealMedia Latin America’s acquisition by AppNexus in the beginning of the week, as covered by ExchangeWire, shows that the market is being heated up, and this is one of the means by which European and North American companies get to have local operations with local expertise.

Case study: Meliá Group

One of the first clients that Teads got in Brazil, where they have been operating for less than one year, spoke about their results in a three-month trial, using data and video in Brazil. Grupo Meliá, a high-end hotel and resort group, used the technology to serve their video campaigns across premium publishers in the region to reach very specific targeted audiences.

Maíra Barcellos, distribution, CRM and loyalty director, Meilá Group, says that previously to this trial, the only video campaigns they had done in LATAM were on YouTube. “Still, it did not meet our expectations because we wanted to build our brand among potential clients”, she said. According to her, targeting technology with a high level of granularity is one of the key features for the luxury market, which needs to impact the customer more than once to have a real influence in the moment they are booking holidays.

“We realised that we need to create video campaigns with a lot of information in the beginning, but also we have an average viewability of 86 seconds, which is quite a lot, showing that our segmentation is being effective”, said. With an average VTR of 21%, the contract with Teads was renewed. “I believe it is a mutual learning process about the audience and their behaviour”, Barcellos finished.

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Lars M. B. Anthonisen is Global Account Lead @ Google. Previously, he held various digital marketing positions at media companies across Europe and Asia including Regional Digital Director at MediaCom APAC, CMO at Adform and Digital Manager at Universal McCann Worldwide.

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