Amazon Unboxes Media Innovation

By Kelly McLane, The Mars Agency

Last month, I attended “Amazon unBoxed, the ecommerce giant’s annual conference for its advertiser and partner community.


Amazon used this year’s forum in New York to unveil the new offerings that Amazon Ads is making available now and in 2023. Here are the ones that caught my attention:


Rewarded Sponsored Display: Advertisers can now add an Amazon Credit incentive directly into the creative for their Sponsored Display ads. Shoppers can earn these credits by clicking through the ad and buying the featured product.


Expanded Sponsored Display: Amazon is beta-testing programs for brands from categories such as automotive and travel that don’t sell products through the Amazon ecosystem.


Digital Signage Ads: Ads on signage within the 39 Amazon Fresh stores are now available programmatically through the Amazon DSP (but through managed service only). These ads previously were only available through a Share of Voice ad package.


Contextual Targeting Updates: Contextual targeting is now available for off-platform media buys and not just programs running on Amazon.com.


Streamlined, Simplified DSP Campaigns: Amazon has made it easier to deploy ad tags, updated its bidding systems and algorithms, and is now providing an historical record of changes.


Sponsored Brand Videos: Videos can now link directly to Brand Stores in addition to Product Detail Pages.


Amazon Brand Video Studio: This video creation tool features expanded creative capabilities and is available for the production of Sponsored Brand videos.


Amazon Ads Video Builder: Currently in beta, this tool will let brands build videos in a few simple clicks.


Amazon Marketing Cloud Improvements: Enhanced capabilities here include the ability to create custom DSP audiences within the cloud beginning this quarter and, starting in 2023, via machine learning. Also included are an expanded number of signals (including integration with Sponsored Display, Sizmek Ad Suite, and Amazon shopper insights), which will make it even easier for brands to evaluate campaign performance across media tactics and optimize accordingly.

This year’s unBoxed event also offered a variety of learning sessions in which Amazon explained how to utilize various ad tools and ad partners (like Johnson & Johnson and Frito-Lay) discussed ways to optimize the opportunities.


Elsewhere, a physical Connections Hub featured interactive kiosks explaining the new ad offerings, as well as a mock Amazon Fresh store, a trial area for the new IMDB "What to Watch” app on Fire TV (which will have ad placements), and a content creator filming an Amazon Live segment. Event sponsors also operated booths to showcase their capabilities to attendees.


We’ll be working with our clients here at The Mars Agency to determine ways to unlock the potential of these new advertising opportunities and develop more effective, growth-driving programs with Amazon.

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About the Author

Kelly McLane brings 9 years of experience in shopper marketing, ecommerce, and pharma to her role as Manager, Ecommerce at The Mars Agency, where she has developed a mastery for aligning national brand priorities with retailer needs.


Kelly works across all three segments of the agency’s Mars, Inc. business (Confections, Food, and Pet), guiding strategy and creative development for activity at Amazon, Whole Foods, and last-mile delivery programs.