Bain & Company announced the formation of Bain Media Lab, a business that will feature a portfolio of digital products and related services that combine breakthrough technologies with powerful data sets. Hive, a full-stack deep learning company based in San Francisco, will be the launch partner for Bain Media Lab.
Bain Media Lab is a new venture incubated in the Bain Innovation Exchange, a business unit that leverages Bain’s network of venture capitalists, startups, and tech leaders to help clients innovate through the ecosystem, as well as support Bain in creating new ventures.
“We are excited to introduce Bain Media Lab and to announce our partnership with Hive,” said Elizabeth Spaulding, the co-lead of Bain & Company’s global Digital practice. “Today’s milestone launch exemplifies our strategy to deepen select Bain Innovation Exchange relationships through the formation of new businesses like Bain Media Lab, which will pair Bain’s expertise with best-in-class innovation to create disruptive solutions. It will also be a powerful vehicle to dramatically accelerate the visibility and growth of innovative technology companies like Hive.”
In partnership, Bain Media Lab and Hive have developed Mensio, an artificial intelligence-powered analytics platform focused on bringing “digital-like” measurement, intelligence, and attribution to traditional television advertising and sponsorships.
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Mensio addresses a pain point shared by marketers and media companies – the lack of recent and granular data on the performance of traditional television advertising and sponsorships. As digital marketing has continued to grow its share of advertising dollars, marketers have become accustomed to seeing real-time campaign performance data with granular measurement of audience reach and outcomes. This dynamic has added pressure on television network owners to source comparable data to defend their share of marketers’ advertising budgets.
“Our partnership with Hive is the result of an extensive evaluation of the landscape and our resulting conviction that together we can uniquely create truly differentiated solutions,” said Dan Calpin, who leads Bain Media Lab. “Our launch product, Mensio, unlocks the speed and granularity of data for TV advertising and sponsorships that marketers have come to expect from their digital ad spend. Mensio arms marketers and their agencies to transition from post-mortem analysis of TV ad spend to real-time optimization, and gives network owners long-elusive data that can help them recast the narrative on advertising.”
“We are excited to partner with Bain & Company as the launch partner of Bain Media Lab,” said Kevin Guo, co-founder and CEO of Hive. “In jointly developing Mensio, we have blended the distinctive competencies of our two firms into a seamlessly integrated go-to-market offering. Hive’s ambition is to leverage artificial intelligence in practical applications to transform industries, and Mensio is our flagship product in the media space.”
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Subscribers to the Mensio platform access a self-service, cloud-based dashboard that provides point-and-click reporting. Two tiers of the dashboard product are available: one for the buyers of TV advertising and sponsorships (marketers and their agencies) and one for the sellers (TV network owners and sports leagues). Selected features available in the Mensio dashboard and from related services include:
- Reach: Measurement of exposure to a brand’s TV advertisements for a given population, ranging from total population to specific behavior-defined segments like frequent guests at quick service restaurants
- Frequency: Reporting on the distribution of frequency for a given population (e.g., what percent of households were exposed to more than 20 TV ads for a given brand over the course of a month)
- Attribution: Evaluation of the impact of exposure to TV advertising and sponsorships on a broad set of outcomes, including online activity, store visitation, and purchases as well as qualitative brand metrics
- Competitive intelligence for brands: Insight into a brand’s relative share of voice versus peers, as well as the mix of networks, programs, genres, dayparts, and ad formats used by a given brand relative to its competitive set
- Competitive intelligence for TV network owners: Insights into trends in spending by industry vertical and brand, as well as relative share of a given TV network owner vs. competitors
- Sponsorship measurement and return on investment: Measurement of the volume, quality, and equivalent media value of sponsorship placements and earned media, with the ability to link to outcomes
The Mensio product suite uses Hive’s computer vision models – trained using data labeled by Hive’s distributed global workforce of over 1 million people – to enrich recorded television content with metadata including the identification of commercials and sponsorship placements as well as contextual elements like beach scenes. Second-by-second viewership of that content is derived using data from nearly 20 million US households, inclusive of cable and satellite set-top boxes as well as Smart TVs, that is then scaled nationally and can be matched in a privacy-safe environment to a range of outcome behaviors. Outcome datasets enable household-level viewership of content to be matched to online activity (including search and website visits), retail store visits, and purchases (including retail purchases as well as several datasets specific to certain industries such as automotive and consumer packaged goods).
Mensio is currently in beta in the U.S. with a growing number of clients across industries. It will begin to expand into other geographies over the next year.
Bain & Company and Hive are additionally collaborating on other related products and services for television network owners addressing programming optimization and content tagging use cases.
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