Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Find out how one company appealed to “modern content connoisseurs” through engaging stories and innovative platforms! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

August 16, 2021

According to database company Statista, there are about 6.4 billion smartphone users as of June 2021.

Within that population, 70% spend their digital or social media time using their smartphones for an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes. Meanwhile, 55% of the global web traffic comes from mobile web browsing.

These are some reasons why a lot of businesses are investing in mobile optimization nowadays.

Let’s take a look at one company that greatly invests in this marketing strategy:

Vivendi SE!

Vivendi is a French media conglomerate widely known for its ownership of several companies in the music, television, film, book publishing, communication, tickets, and video hosting industries:

  • Universal Music Group (music)
  • Canal+ Group (TV and cinema)
  • Editis (publishing)
  • Prisma Media (magazines)
  • Gameloft (video games)
  • Dailymotion and myCanal (content distribution)
  • Vivendi Village (ticketing and franchise developments)

As of May 2021, Vivendi has around 44,000 employees working from different countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

What marketing strategies does the company employ to expand its reach not just in France but also in other parts of the world?

Just like what we talked about a while ago, Vivendi invests in Mobile Optimization. In fact, in 2017, it created its own mobile TV app called…

The Studio+ app!

Studio+ is Vivendi’s premium Netflix-like app specifically designed for mobile. Through this app, the company extended its geographical reach by initially distributing video content across Europe and Latin America.

These are some features of the Studio+ app:

  1. It takes short-form SVOD mainstream.

    [SVOD: Subscription video on demand. This allows consumers to access an entire catalog of content for a flat rate, which is typically paid monthly.]

    According to Dominique Delport, chairman of Vivendi Content, Studio+ targets the “modern content connoisseur”―someone who’s meticulous about the shows he or she watches and is not fully satisfied with a typical digital and social video.

    This is why Vivendi makes sure its Studio+ app only distributes high-quality, short-form episodic programming.

    By paying a subscription fee of USD 4 per month, Studio+ users get full access to different types of content on the app!

  2. It features shows that look and feel like TV programs but are optimized for mobile.

    Studio+’s shows follow the 10×10 format: A series that only consists of 10 episodes, with each episode lasting for a maximum of 10 minutes.

    Vivendi’s production team puts in a lot of effort to work on video content. In fact, a series’ season takes almost a year to develop and launch on the Studio+ app!

    This shows how committed the company is to provide shows that appeal to its target market!

  3. It taps into synergies across the Vivendi network (Canal+, Universal Music Group, and Havas).

    Canal+, a European film and TV producer and distributor, and Universal Music Group, the largest recording company in the world, help produce Studio+’s shows.

    … and aside from showcasing Vivendi’s own video content, chairman Delport said the Studio+ app offers Havas’s advertising clients branded content opportunities to reach their target audience.

    One of these clients is fast food company Chipotle, which launched its “Farmed and Dangerous” original comedy series via Vivendi’s mobile TV app.

    Through Studio+, Vivendi not only reaches its own target audience but also helps other businesses connect with their customers and prospects.

Aside from the Studio+ app, Vivendi creates compelling content―and helps other brands create compelling content―through the Vivendi Brand Marketing.

Launched in 2019, the company’s marketing arm was created to provide expertise and different types of engaging content for various enterprises worldwide.


By providing insights services and strategy consultancy to meet consumers’ growing expectations for effective and meaningful content marketing!

The Vivendi Brand Marketing combines Havas’ deep understanding of consumers and brands with the creativity, production, and distribution skills of Vivendi’s other businesses.

The marketing arm operates on 3 main strategies:

  • Advise. Vivendi provides its clients with proprietary studies, content analyses, and cultural intelligence about consumers. These insights help other businesses create ads or content based on their customers’ preferences.
  • Design. This isn’t the typical graphic or visual design stuff. For the company, this is about designing a content roadmap complete with content compass, guidelines, and opportunities for an effective content marketing strategy.
  • Create. This is where content ideation, creation, and activation take place. Here, Vivendi conducts creative sessions, executive production meetings, and activation plans with brands that enlist the services of the Vivendi Brand Marketing.

Thanks to the creation of this marketing arm, Vivendi is able to enhance its reputation, produce premium content for itself, and accompany other businesses in their content marketing journey by delivering “tailor-made experiences, engaging stories, and innovative platforms!”

In the past five years, Vivendi SE has recorded revenues of:

  • EUR 10.8 billion in 2016
  • EUR 12.5 billion in 2017
  • EUR 13.9 billion in 2018
  • EUR 15.9 billion in 2019
  • EUR 16.1 billion in 2020

Clearly, these numbers show that the Studio+ app and Vivendi Brand Marketing have been effective growth drivers!

Vivendi SE’s Earning Power: Valens Research vs. As-reported numbers

Vivendi SE (VIV:FRA) makes for a great case study that we come back to regularly. One great reason?

The company has proven itself to be a better earning power generator than investors might think.

So, how well has Vivendi been growing its business in the past years?

The research doesn’t lie—nor do the results. Earning power (the blue bars) continues to show results higher on average than what traditional databases show.

The blue bars in the chart above represent Vivendi’s earning power (Uniform Return On Assets). Historically, Vivendi has seen generally cyclical profitability. After declining from 48% in 2005 to -5% in 2013, Uniform ROA achieved a peak of 338% in 2015, before falling to 3% in 2018. Thereafter, Uniform ROA recovered to 20%, but declined to 18% in 2020.

The global ROA is just 6%.

The orange bars are the company’s as-reported financial information. If you relied on these numbers, you will see a company with terribly understated profitability. As-reported ROA (return on assets, a measure of earning power) only ranged from 1% to 7% in the past sixteen years. Its as-reported ROA in 2020 was only at 3%, which is 6 times lower than its Uniform ROA in 2020.

That’s what you’ll see in Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and most other databases.

The company’s stock price also performed better than the rest of the stock market over the decade, which we can see in the blue line in the chart below. Its returns have been well above the market.

The numbers show that Vivendi has been doing well and making a profit.

One of the statements that the company highlights on its Vivendi Brand Marketing website’s home page is this:

“We pioneer new spaces for brand expression.”

As a global leader in culture, entertainment, media, and communications, Vivendi’s core is to promote content creation and reveal talents that are new and appealing for its customers and clients’ customers.

… and whether it’s in the area of music, audiovisual and cinema, communications, publishing, ticketing, or gaming, the company’s aim remains the same:

To make a “meaningful difference to brands, businesses, and people.

The result?

A wider network and a more lasting and positive recall for Vivendi’s branding!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some company’s marketing strategy.

…Only for the audience to later find out that their product was a flop, or worse, that the company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the role of marketing is always paramount to that success.

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies.

However, the difference between our case studies and the numerous ones out there, is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group).

By looking at the true earnings of a company, we can now rely on those successful businesses to get tips and insights on what they did right.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve on. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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