Disney X Epic Games

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From Google's Gemini to Disney Gaming, EMX Picks The Biggest Media Breakthroughs This Month

The experts at EssenceMediacomX talk us through the implications of the latest breakthrough media moves

By Creative Salon

Each month EMX picks out some of the most interesting innovations and initiatives that represent real breathroughs in the media market and consider what the implications are for marketers and brands.

Here are this month's breakthroughs.

Google Takes AI to a Whole New Level

By Vincent Bernard, Head of Organic Performance EMEA & Diana Saranova, Global Head of Search at EssenceMediacom

Google has just unveiled its latest AI model, Gemini, which has been described as the most advanced multimodal AI model.

Formerly called Bard, Gemini can now combine different information from text, image, audio, video, and code and has improved reasoning capabilities. It’s set to power all Google ecosystems and marks a new era of AI maturity.

What this means in practice is that Gemini now provides enhanced search with advanced reasoning and efficiency. New features include Circle search, enabling in-app scribble searches on new Androids like Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24, and multi-search for simultaneous text and image queries.

Gemini also powers a conversational AI assistant for Google Ads in the US and UK, generating diverse ad assets including images, headlines, descriptions and keywords from text prompts. AI-generated images will be unique and will contain watermark using SynthID to indicate the image was generated by AI.


These latest innovations exemplify generative AI's growing influence on search and digital marketing, offering a glimpse into the future of user experience and media management. Whilst conversational experience helps scale creative and build campaigns more efficiently, the technology's full impact remains to be seen but it certainly heralds a transformative era for search functionality and advertising strategies.

Further Reading

The next chapter of our Gemini era

Bard becomes Gemini: Try Ultra 1.0 and a new mobile app today

Amazon Launches Prime Video Ads

By David Grainger, Head of Planning

There’s a lot to like about the arrival of ads on Prime Video. Most crucially, they’ve arrived as an opt-out choice, not an opt-in.

As any behavioural scientist will confirm, this is a smart move: by removing the friction to ad adoption, Amazon Prime could transfer the vast majority of its current subscribers onto its ad tier.

If Prime poses a threat to traditional broadcasters, it lies in how much people value what is free (Broadcaster Video On Demand, BVOD) versus what they pay for (subscription). According to Measure Protocol, a 15,000 strong UK panel that measures platform usage, Amazon Prime is watched for an average of six hours a week, up to 30% longer than BVOD rivals.

Rather than consider Prime a direct threat to broadcasters, however, it should be welcomed as a means of improving AV’s efficacy on the media plan. TV ads are still highly effective and now Amazon Prime has added millions of incremental eyeballs to the AV plan.


Amazon’s opt-out strategy positions Prime as a mass market streaming service with minimal ad intrusion, a user base in the millions and a pricing structure that seems palatable to the AV buying community. Prime offers UK advertisers an attractive means of adding invaluable campaign reach, particularly among younger audiences.

Marketers Are Upping Their Martech Spend As AI Takes Hold

By Renata Samet, Data Strategy Lead

Marketing technology (martech) now constitutes 30% of marketing budgets, a 6% increase from the previous year, according to LAX’s 2024 Predictions For Marketing & Sales Technology report.

AI's expansion is a significant factor, with an 18.5% rise in martech apps from 2022 to 2023. Experts like HubSpot’s Scott Brinker highlight the abundance of martech solutions, emphasising the importance of application and vendor selection in a complex market.

The report underscores the importance of AI in marketing, but warns against over-reliance. As Moody Analytics’ Dr. Christine Bailey advises in the report, AI should complement, not replace, marketing acumen. It's a sentiment echoed in the report by Anand Thaker, Strategic GTM & Operating Advisor who cites the example of a mid-sized company that replaced its agency and content team with ChatGPT investments. The unsupervised use of ChatGPT sparked a decline in content quality and search ranking, leading to increased media spending to compensate.


The growth in martech signifies a transformative phase in marketing, where technology and AI become integral to strategy and implementation. This trend means a balanced approach is required; ensuring that technological advancements enhance, not replace, the essential elements of human creativity and strategic insight.

With the rise of martech, media agencies like EMX can play a crucial role in helping clients integrate these technologies effectively. By leveraging their expertise, agencies can guide clients through the selection of appropriate tools, ensuring that AI and other martech applications enhance and complement digital advertising strategies, without taking centre stage.

Disney Moves Into Gaming

By Jane Cartwright, VP Content, Creative Futures

Disney’s $1.5 billion stake in Epic Games - the developer of hugely popular first person shooter “Fortnite” - has created a lot of buzz and conversation, but what it means for brands currently remains to be seen. The deal certainly appears to signal that Disney intends to populate the metaverse with its own characters and IP.

This could bring the potential for a whole new set of media touchpoints and branded experiences, within a media environment and audience that is generally less accessible to brands than traditional channels. However, it’s still unconfirmed as to how Disney will choose to commercialise the deal - with one possibility simply being access via a Disney+ subscription.

If Disney do decide to let partner brands in, they won’t be short of interest. Brands from KFC to Balenciaga have clamoured to align themselves with the ever-growing cultural space that is online Gaming. Disney can afford to be highly selective when it comes to branded partnerships, and will likely prioritise brands with whom they have existing relationships and those already established in Gaming.


Our advice to brands is that - first and foremost - they need to keep existing gamers onside. This means that any brand hoping to enter this space should first work hard to identify a credible role in Gaming, and next to ensure that any collabs feel authentic, and deliver delight and utility to users.

The access for brands to Disney x Epic Games should become clearer in the near future, and will probably develop and mature over time. But for a brand with a credible role in Gaming, the possibilities are very exciting.


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