Taste of Home, part of Trusted Media Brands, Inc., is one of the leading food media brands in the U.S.
Compared to other media companies, TMBI is relatively small. However, Joe Losardo, Executive Brand Director at Taste of Home and Reader’s Digest, sees that as a competitive advantage.
“We pride ourselves on being a bit more nimble than larger media organizations, which has allowed us to react quickly to the market,” says Losardo.
This highly responsive approach to post-sales content, built on a solid foundation of innovation and digital storytelling, ultimately led Losardo and his team to adopt Ceros.
A Turnkey Solution for Custom Content
The relationship started with a small measure of serendipity. In 2015, Jessica Absatz joined the Reader’s Digest digital team as Senior Marketing Manager. She’d been exploring interactive content solutions for pre-sales and marketing at her previous company, and encouraged Losardo to check out Ceros.
Taste of Home was already producing high-quality content for advertising partners, but they were limited in terms of the types of experiences they could deliver within typical campaign budgets and deadlines.
“We have a fantastic team of recipe developers and photographers in Milwaukee that we leverage for custom engagements with sponsors. We were looking for new ways to employ that content digitally,” says Losardo.
After meeting with the Ceros team and digging into its capabilities, Taste of Home signed on in spring of 2016.
“Our goal was to produce compelling, and relatively turnkey, interactive content,” says Losardo. “We wanted to bring these capabilities in house so we could react quickly to RFPs and produce consistently outstanding content with our existing team. Ceros allowed us to do that.”
Engaging Sponsors and Readers with Interactive
The Taste of Home team looked at the RFPs coming in and identified clients who wanted custom solutions that pushed the usual digital boundaries. They then proactively pitched interactive executions they could deliver using Ceros.
Galbani was the first advertiser to bite on an interactive project. The team created a fun, interactive summer entertaining Experience with an Italian spin. The piece weaves together seasonal recipes with trivia about Italian food and regions.
Since then, Taste of Home has launched several interactive experiences for advertisers. The feedback has been universally positive.
“When we show sponsors a preview of the pieces we build in Ceros, we’ve consistently received ‘oh wow!’ responses,” says Losardo. “We’ve also had almost no design tweaks during review rounds—a testament to our team’s quick adoption of the platform.” In fact, the creatives using Ceros decreased production time in the platform by 70% between their first and second projects.
Clients who’ve ran interactive campaigns in the past are now coming back regularly for additional activations.
“With Ceros, we’re able to deliver content that connects with consumers and impresses clients. Because of this, we’ve been able to develop long-term relationships, positioning ourselves as a strong creative partner who produces high-quality work.”
Expanding Interactive Adoption Across TMBI
After the success of interactive placements on Taste of Home, Losardo hopes to expand interactive offerings to Reader’s Digest advertisers this year as well.
“Since we relaunched the Reader’s Digest site in 2015, we’ve experienced significant digital growth. We think there are some really cool opportunities to create interactive health and culture content for those readers in the coming months.”
“With Ceros, we’re able to deliver content that connects with consumers and impresses clients.”