DENMARK – Arla Foods has set up its own media agency called ‘The Barn’ to accelerate digital marketing and media buying by producing creative campaigns and ads.

Inspired by Arla’s agricultural roots, the agency will promote the company’s marketing agenda as well as advertisements in the digital space.

According to the company, the platform takes them closer to customers and consumers whose needs and experiences are constantly changing.

The Barn will mainly focus on producing content for digital channels, formulating concepts and strategies, and digital media buying, so there will still be tasks to be solved in close cooperation with the external agencies.

It’s a new era in digital marketing and media buying.
Until now, most of our creative media production has been handled by agencies with talented staff, who have also bought advertising space for us.
We’re changing that now.

Thomas Heilskov, Director and Head of Digital at Arla.

Consumer behavior and attitudes to food products are constantly changing, and this places new demands on us.
We need to get closer to the consumers and be able to respond more quickly to new trends.
The Barn’ will bring our creative production and buying of media advertising space closer to the heart of our business, and thereby closer to consumers.
It will also give us a more flexible setup, so we can react faster to market trends.

Arla said it already started insourcing digital marketing in Sweden last year, something that also inspired the initiative.

Cost-saving strategy

In April last year, Arla launched the Calcium programme to deliver more than 400 million euro of savings by the end of 2020 through improved efficiency in all areas.

The company said establishing The Barn was partly motivated by financial stratagem.

The Calcium programme, part of Arla Good Growth 2020 strategy, looks at all aspects of the business to identify ways to save money by transforming working methods.

The programme looks to boost Arla’s performance to the benefit of its farmer-owners and further strengthen the company’s investment capability.

“It’s no secret that Arla always focuses on costs.

We’re a cooperative owned by farmers, so the more money we make, the more they benefit.

As part of the Calcium programme, we’ve looked at the marketing workflows, and we see an opportunity to do things cheaper and better in this area by creating our own advertising agency,” said Thomas Heilskov.