MCN lines up 'multi-channel integration' for Qantas advertisers

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 24 July 2014

MCN is billing its new partnership with Qantas as a way to offer advertisers integrated campaigns and packages that include in-flight as well as TV, online, mobile, outdoor, Foxtel and Fox Sports - but industry observers are calling the promise a pipe-dream.

In response to suggestions from elsewhere in the market that MCN's offer is “undeliverable” because it has “over promised”. Both Qantas and MCN batted away the claim.

Anthony Fitzgerald, MCN CEO told AdNews: “That's a fascinating statement from someone who has no idea what we offered. I've got no direct comment but they couldn’t have a clue what we offered. Unless they were in the pitch with me, I can't imagine they know.”

But exactly what advertisers will be able to buy into isn't yet nailed down. The contract starts in November and between now and then, that will need to be ironed out.

Some of the limitations come not from MCN's side, but from what Qantas can actually get it's on-board hardware to do.

“There's a transition process and a lot of plans around how to offer integration across platform solutions that create better value for advertisers and extended outcomes rather than just buying in-flight entertainment as a standalone," said Fitzgerald.

"Extension makes the whole offer more attractive and the idea is not based on increasing the level of advertising, it's about smarter, better value advertising.”

Further down the track, being able to target individual passengers in their seat with ads suited to them based on data that could include Frequent Flier info is a possibility, but not on the horizon for now.

There is a data play for MCN though.

The sales house can take advantage of its 100,000 strong Multiview home audience panel that can identify frequent fliers, what they tend to watch, their propensity to buy certain brands or products – on a privacy compliant basis – of course, Fitzgerald clarified.

“Given that our business is founded in video and multi-screen, it opens up some interesting extensions for us and our advertisers and for Qantas when you think about the content provision part of the deal.

It allows for us to provide further extensions for our advertisers across platforms with integrated sponsorships and true multi-media solutions across Sky news, TV, online, mobile and now in-flight entertainment. Advertisers are increasingly interested in reaching the consumer on any device that they’re consuming content so it's a brilliant extension.”

He added that because Qantas passengers are a captive audience and “brilliant cashed up consumers” there's strong value for advertisers.

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