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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 11, November 2012, Posted On: 10/15/2012

Mondelez Partners With Startups To Boost Mobile Brand Presence

Emily Jed

NORTHFIELD, IL -- Snack and candy giant Mondelez International is seeking to ramp up mobile marketing for key brands like Ritz, Oreo and Trident by partnering with startup entrepreneurs in the mobile space.

Called Mobile Futures, the new program will pair these startups with brands to accelerate and scale existing mobile innovations and incubate new mobile ventures in just 90 days. Mondelez's focus for the program is at retail, social TV and "SoLoMo" (the intersection of social, local and mobile).

Mondelez, which spun off from the Kraft Foods Group North American grocery business on Oct. 2, said that it has committed to investing 10% of its global marketing budget to mobile applications.

"American consumers spend more than 23% of their daily media consumption on a mobile device," said Bonin Bough, vice-president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez. "Yet, most marketers dedicate less than 1% of their media spend on mobile. This is a huge gap, and it's driving us at Mondelez International to think differently about consumer engagement and path to purchase."

Mondelez will pair its brand teams with the selected startups. Together they will work at each startup's offices to create new mobile ventures. At the end of 90 days, Mondelez will pitch the concepts to investors and venture capitalists in the hope of securing seed funding.

The companies will be chosen through an open call for applications that began Oct. 10, followed by a pitch for finalists in late November. The goal is for up to 10 Mondelez brands to participate, each working with a separate startup.

The initiative is supported by a network of corporate partners that include Viacom, ATT AdWorks, the Boston Consulting Group, Horizon Media, MediaVest and several VCs and investors including Intel Capital and New World Ventures.

"Mobile Futures is a first of its kind program because it begins and ends with startups. Startups are the innovative lifeblood for the digital world and we are committed to supporting them," Bough said.

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