Making the case, Mark Clouse , Executive Vice President and President, North America, told the annual meeting of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York, reported by Seeking Alpha, that "digital programming has proven to drive twice the ROI of traditional TV advertising".
He cited the example of Oreo, whose cyber campaign – involving a product giveaway on Twitter - he claimed had succeeded in "setting a new standard for matching clear brand equity and voice with real-time activation".
Clouse said the brand had grown in double digits for the past two years and was now generating over $1bn in revenue in North America alone.
That success had led the business to apply the lessons learned from Oreo to "more challenged brands" like Trident gum, were it was achieving a positive outcome.
The Trident "communication bundle" had been altered, first with a functional message on fighting cavities and second with a shift in media investment away from TV to digital, mobile, in-store and out-of-home.
As a result the brand had gained two share points, Clouse reported, and the initiative would be "expanded and applied to other gum opportunities". The launch of Sour Patch Gum, for example, was fully supported by digital.
He also outlined how the company was using a "fuel, treat, boost framework to help us select and position our Power Brands" which accounted for around two thirds of its portfolio.
"Fuel is about making snacks work harder and bringing more meaningful benefits," he said. "Simply put, in today's world a bag of chips just isn't going to cut it".
That meant, for example, brands like belVita and Triscuit could address particular needs, whether the delivery of nutritious and sustaining energy in the morning in the case of the former, or a wholesome, fulfilling snack in the case of the latter.
The framework said Clouse, had "helped us choose better marketing messages and the most appropriate vehicles to drive increased relevance in growth".
Data sourced from Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff