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Havas Media helps launch new food product during pandemic

  Article , Retail , Success stories

Paid search and audience ads serve up big results

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Microsoft Advertising agency partner, Havas Media Group operates in over 140 countries and serves its clients with a team of specialists that span strategy, consumer insights, programmatic buying, mobile, data consulting, performance marketing, out of home, geo-local and more. Their vertical expertise is broad, covering retail, CPG, telco, health, hospitality, travel, financial services and auto. The Havas Media team holds a belief and strategic approach that more “Meaningful Media” can help build more “Meaningful Brands.” We are eager to share how an innovative, meaningful media campaign for their client in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry performed during the uncertainty of COVID-19.

We’re always looking for new ways to innovate and test new technologies that help us create the best media experience. Audience targeting in paid search was something that intrigued us. This new product launch provided the right opportunity to test, which was exciting to us.

— Heather Cohen, VP Group Director for Performance Media, Havas Media

Launching a new product during uncertain times

As the pandemic began to unfold, Havas Media and their QSR client were preparing a product launch for a new menu item available in approximately 900 retail locations across the United States. Heightened safety concerns and guidelines created a daunting environment for a new product launch. The agency leveraged Microsoft Advertising insights about changing consumer behaviors and safety regulations to help create a campaign that focused on the growing demand for take-out foods and safe, contact-less delivery options. This included a change in the client’s food service operational procedures, as well as new campaign offers and messaging.

Driving growth with the Microsoft Audience Network

The goals of the campaign were two-fold: to build awareness around the new menu item and drive conversion volume. The campaign provided an opportunity to think through innovative ways of reaching and engaging new and existing customers with the most meaningful media.

The Microsoft Audience Network offered an opportunity to reach new customers through an audience targeting solution that complimented what Havas Media was already doing in paid search for this QSR client. The team decided to run Audience Ads using In-Market Audience targeting, Custom Audience targeting, and Remarketing to capture the most volume from high interest consumers.

According to Havas Media, it was important for the client to have coverage across both the Microsoft Audience Network and the Search Network to ensure their presence during every interaction. With Audience Ads, the goal was to build awareness around a new menu item in a native platform and use paid search to drive the lower funnel conversions. Remarketing lists were built out and in-market audiences were aligned with food items, take-out, delivery, and food services.

The proof is in the numbers

“The QSR industry, is a highly competitive space, so there is a constant need to be innovative in how we reach and engage new and existing customers,” says Taylor George, Havas Media Search Specialist.

Havas Media wanted to measure and quantify the hypothesis that the combination of the Microsoft Advertising Network image-based campaign plus paid search would drive increased awareness, search volume and conversions. An attribution study was conducted to help demonstrate and quantify that the impressions served on the Microsoft Audience Network were leading to a lift in search volume, as well as putting the client top of mind and leading to website visits.

The results were solid:

  • That campaign doubled click-thru volume
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA) reduced by 50%
  • Consumers who clicked on the native ads had a 162% higher probability of converting
  • 15% of consumers who were exposed to the Audience ads were also more likely to search for branded queries on
  • In-Market Audiences generated the highest lifts in conversions
The combination of paid search and the Microsoft Audience Network gave us the opportunity to test a new approach which resulted in a very effective campaign for our client. We see value in recommending paid search and the Microsoft Audience Network to many of our other clients as well.

— Pat McMahon, Havas Media Performance Media Supervisor, Havas Media

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