In a presentation at Cannes Lions this week, Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox showed ad buyers mock-ups of a new mobile format that takes over a screen after a user clicks on it from the news feed. Once a promo is expanded, it turns into a browsable mini-website. (Re/code published a video of what a Michael Kors ad reportedly looks like.)
Similar to Instant Articles, the format would keep the entire ad experience inside the controlled confines of Facebook, meaning advertisers need to create content specifically for the social platform. The news comes right before Facebook's initial crop of Instant Articles publishers, including The New York Times and Buzzfeed, start cranking out articles for the platform tomorrow, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Facebook seems to be turning a corner with mobile ads by creating a more immersive promotional experience. But will brand marketers react by spending more?
"If the mock-up scenario is a preview of what Facebook's ad future is, then the answer is a resounding yes," said Robert Andrade, director of content distribution at Deep Focus. "Rich media ads will definitely change how advertisers spend and, even more so, produce within the Facebook ecosystem. We should expect to see a significant amount of dollars going to early tests."
Andrew Cunningham, social marketing lead at Huge, compared the ads to an interactive-magazine spread. Similar to Instagram's glossy picture and video promos, the amount of effort required of brands depends on how much they are willing to put in. And if the photo app's gradual rollout of ads is any indication, Facebook will take its time making its ads available to a large number of brands and agencies.
"Repurposing content from elsewhere is certainly possible, but it would likely need to be optimized to the format in question and still need to stand out past what's normal for brands to get the most bang for their buck," Cunningham said.
Still, Deep Focus' Andrade noted that Facebook's Instant Articles operatives have worked with publishers to smooth out the production process, and the same would presumably happen with its ad business.
"I suspect a bit of pushback in the short term," he said. "But, long term, these types of executions will become the norm."
VML's managing director of channel activation Amy Worley said the forthcoming ad seems particularly well suited for retailers. And with Facebook's data and retargeting, promos could hit a specific users when they're more likely to buy something.
"An ad format like this has the potential to become much more of a shopping experience," she said. "It offers a wealth of product detail but does so in a way that's user-driven and about exploration rather than pushing out features."
Noah Mallin, MEC's head of social for North America, agreed that the ads have intriguing creative use cases, reminding him of Apple's iAd launch in 2010 but with a wider reach.
"There were wonderful examples of creative executions that made use of the touchscreen and the reading environment, but in practice, they were a minority of the ads that actually ended up getting placed," Mallin said.
Mobile is clearly a key part of Facebook's long-term growth—it makes up 73 percent of its ad revenue—but the new rich-media format shows that the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company can't rely on static sponsored posts to keep ad dollars flowing.
Keeping the entire experience within Facebook would also change how mobile ads are measured. Most campaigns are still analyzed based on clickthrough data, but time spent could be equally as important soon.
Victor Pineiro, Big Spaceship's vp of social media, said the time-spent rationale is part of the reason marketers are increasingly building ad experiences for apps like Snapchat that people can't see elsewhere.
"Facebook's potential new ad format follows the path of social networks becoming 'Hotel Californias'—platforms that you never leave, partially because there are few links leading out, but mostly because you don't seem to want to," he said.
Those new metrics coupled with big, beautiful mobile ads are why execs say Facebook's potential new ad is compelling enough to chip away at TV budgets.
"If you look at mobile-awareness units available to advertisers today, for the most part, they're either highly interruptive to the user or they are a piece of content users can simply scroll past," said Chris Tuff, evp and director of development and partnerships at 22squared. "This new offering is what truly immersive mobile experiences should look like, and it will be vying for both mobile-ad and TV dollars."
Facebook is testing lead-generation-based mobile ads with a few dozen select brands, though it's not sharing the companies' names. If the ads actually work and become a regular marketing product, they will likely be popular with email marketers, financial brands, automakers, insurance companies and real estate players.
The ads let consumers sign up for newsletters or complete forms—think credit card applications, test-drive appointments, price quotes and customer service follow-up calls—with just two taps of the screen. That type of streamlining becomes possible when users allow Facebook to pull contact information—names, email addresses, phone numbers—from their profiles.
"This helps avoid a lot of the pain points usually associated with filling out forms like having to leave one app and start a form in another app and having to enter all of their information from scratch. Just a few taps and people are done," Facebook said in a blog post on Thursday.
Facebook also addressed privacy issues: "People can edit their contact information, and information isn't sent to the business until a person clicks the 'submit button.' Advertisers may only use this information in accordance with their privacy policies, which we make available in the lead ad before people click 'submit.' Advertisers are also restricted from re-selling lead information to third parties."
Assuming that lead-gen ads will be around for a while, it will be interesting to see how enthusiastic email marketers will be. Buying ads to produce sign-ups isn't necessarily a common practice in that world. But for credit card, insurance and automotive brands, the ads seem like a no-brainer—getting consumers with short attention spans to complete forms probably has never been more difficult.
The lead-gen promos are simply the latest maneuver by Facebook aimed at capturing as much of the growing mobile-advertising market as possible. For instance, earlier this week at Cannes, it unveiled more immersive mobile advertising units built with big brands in mind.
Facebook's fast-paced moves toward gaining mobile budgets seem well conceived. The global mobile-advertising market will surpass $100 billion in 2016 while accounting for more than 50 percent of all digital ad spends, per eMarketer.
Concert promoter saw a 66% increase in ticket sales tied to mobile devices, an fact that Facebook says would have been impossible to know without Atlas’ “people-based” measurement.
Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.
CANNES, France—When you're selling Madonna tickets gay-dating app Grindr would seem like a good place to start, given the pop star's popularity within the LGBT community. That was Live Nation's thinking when promoting her upcoming Rebel Heart tour, and, as it turns out, the it was spot-on.
The Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company today revealed that it bought ads on the mobile app, and they wound up being one of its biggest sales drivers. It's no small thing to measure the effect of mobile ads, but Live Nation credits its use of Facebook ad technology with helping uncover the connection.
Live Nation used Facebook's Atlas ad platform to manage its digital marketing, and the two tech players discussed how it went during a talk at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Facebook was showing off its ability to report on mobile ads, something that has been a vexing problem for much of the industry.
"The consumer shift to mobile and cross-device engagement has completely upended decades of accepted wisdom about our audiences—not only who they are and how best to reach them but the ways in which various media messages can influence an individual's decision to purchase or ignore," Facebook and Live Nation said in the announcement today.
Tracking mobile behavior is not like it is on desktop, because there are no cookies—packets of data that track online activity—in apps. Facebook uses its own mobile-data tools to understand people's Web-browsing habits on phones.
It's called a people-based system, because Facebook relies on the actual identity information the social network gets from people logged into the service across devices. So when a user sees an ad in an app but makes a purchase on a computer, Facebook can credit the mobile ad with the sale, not just the last click that the consumer happened to make.
Live Nation said this is particularly important with ticket sales, because concertgoers often buy tickets and look for seats on desktop computers, even if they saw an ad elsewhere. Now, the company says it can finally measure the effect the mobile campaigns are having.
"A post-campaign analysis revealed that by using Atlas, Live Nation was able to tie a whopping 66 percent increase in purchases back to mobile—a sales attribution that would've otherwise slipped through the cracks using cookies alone," the joint announcement from the companies said.
That means that mobile ad recipients bought 66 percent more tickets than consumers not exposed to those ads.
"If Live Nation had served those ads using a standard third-party platform instead of Atlas, the final analysis would've reported zero tickets sold," the companies said.
Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have been trying to infuse their platforms with e-commerce functionalities over the past few years with the aim of attracting more ad dollars. While their results often have been lacking, the pursuit for merchants' budgets continues.
Recently, there's been a plethora of new marketing products like "buy buttons," product pages and other commerce-oriented features from social players. From Pinterest and Instagram launching essentially identical features on the same day to YouTube's efforts to drive traffic from video ads, it's been an interesting month to watch social commerce unfold. It will also be worth keeping tabs on the platforms that pay off the most for brands this year, especially during the holiday shopping season that starts in a few months.
Here's a look at how Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube stack up against one another when it comes to social commerce.
New ad unit automatically populates forms with contact information that consumers have shared with the social network.
Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.
Newsrooms have begun readying content for the coming Instant Article ramp up. With some publishers planning on launching 30 to 40 articles each day, the ‘instant’ gold rush is near.
Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.
CANNES, France—Thanks to its photo filters, Instagram is known for empowering the common social-media user with a touch of artistry. But the mobile-social platform recently challenged users to show off their discriminating tastes with real attempts at art, asking them to remake iconic photos and post their interpretations with the hashtag #recreatedclassic.
The competition culminated at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where more than 500 entries were displayed, and Instagram reps named three winners at a pop-up gallery at the Hotel Majestic Barrièrre. Instagram and parent company Facebook have taken over parts of the historic hotel as its base of operations for the festival, meeting with creatives, agencies and brands to show off their latest ad capabilities.
The #recreatedclassic contest was sponsored by Leica, and the winners got limited-edition cameras.
The triumphant Instagram re-creations evoked memorable moments from history, as seen below:
1. Caio Vita (@caiovita) offered a modern-tech reimagination of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's nude embrace for a 1970s Rolling Stone cover.
2. Rajesh Ramakrishnan (@rajesh_photo) provided a playful but powerful take on the unforgettable 1960s flower-power photo of a protester and a policeman.
3. P.J. Ortiz Luis (@pacificyo) won with a remake of Toni Frissell's somber classic Lady in the Water, 1947.
Back in May, Facebook announced its Instant Articles initiative – basically a program to get major publications like the New York Times, NBC News, and The Atlantic to let Facebook host their content. Since then, Facebook has published a handful of these native Instant Articles. Now, it’s about to ramp up. The Wall Street Journal quotes the ubiquitous sources familiar …
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