Instagram Unveils 60-Second Ads With T-Mobile and Warner Bros.

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Just in time for the Super Bowl, Instagram is now offering 60-second ads. The social platform's video promos had previously been limited to 15- and 30-second clips.

The Facebook-owned platform began rolling out the new option today, with T-Mobile and Warner Bros. among the first to utilize the format. The wireless carrier is using it to showcase an extended version of its 30-second Super Bowl spot, which will air during the Big Game on Sunday. The spot, featuring Drake, was created by Publicis Seattle.

Here's the longer version of T-Mobile's video ad on Instagram:


We're in the #BigGame with @ChampagnePapi. #YouGotCarriered

A video posted by tmobile (@tmobile) on


Warner Bros. is testing a 60-second trailer for its new film, How to Be Single. A few undisclosed consumer-goods brands also tested the new ad unit, which will be rolled out more widely in the U.S. in the coming weeks, according to an Instagram rep.

In the U.K., Guinness is running a 60-second, black-and-white spot for its "Made of More" campaign on the social media platform. The ad honors Jon Hammond, the American record producer who fought segregation by putting both black and white jazz musicians on his radio show. Hammond played a role in helping a number of music greats find the spotlight, including Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin.

Here's the spot:



February 4th 2016 Facebook, Mobile, Technology, video

How Butterfinger’s Super Bowl Campaign Is Perfecting the Art of Facebook Autoplay Videos

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Facebook's autoplay videos give marketers big viewership numbers to boast about, but they also pose a creative challenge: How do you grab someone's attention with a muted clip, enough to make them stop scrolling through the newsfeed?

That's why Super Bowl advertiser Butterfinger is working with Facebook's creative team to make short, clicky videos as part of its "Bolder than Bold" campaign from 360i. Unlike the string of Super Bowl advertisers rolling out their final spots before the game, Butterfinger is keeping its creative under wraps until Sunday and is instead teasing bits of creative through social media.

"You've got to stop someone's thumb as they're flipping through their feed, so there are certain things you can do with your color, font, characters, size and positioning of branding that will get consumers to stop, engage and turn on their sound," said Kristen Mandel, Butterfinger marketing manager.

Last week, the brand posted a 30-second teaser with Billy Eichner on Facebook and YouTube. The opening title card for the clip shows Eichner popping out of the brand's tagline, which Mandel said was a production tip from Facebook designed to hook viewers from the first scene.

The brand also played with far-away and close-up shots of Eichner, settling on an angle that almost makes the comedian appear to pop out of the screen.

"They helped us get to that opening card—there were multiple iterations and [finding] the right balance between the creative components to maximize consumer engagement," explained Mandel.

And since autoplay clips automatically play without sound, subtitles run along the bottom of the screen when viewed from a newsfeed as a way to entice folks to click on the video. Once the video is clicked on, it expands to a full-screen view and the subtitles disappear.

In another example, Butterfinger created an 12-second GIF, using a scene from the spot that shows Eichner singing next to a motorcycle driver, who is taking a profile picture for his dating app.

Besides slicing up the teaser, Mandel said the candymaker is also upping the number of posts focused on products, including a short GIF-like video that shows a Butterfinger repeatedly snapping in half.

And while Mandel declined to reveal the brand's social media plans for Sunday, she said her team is running paid ads to amplify content and is also working with Facebook to prolong the Super Bowl ad's length after it airs during the third quarter.

According to Facebook research, Butterfinger has good reason to fine-tune its video for the platform. The social net claims that 45 percent of people who watch the first three seconds of a video go on to watch at least 30 seconds, and 65 percent of folks view at least 10 seconds of a clip.

February 4th 2016 Facebook, Technology

How Facebook Is Using Surveys to Improve Its News Feed and Give Users What They Want

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Facebook is taking more of a "survey says" approach to what users will see in their news feeds.

In a blog post published today, Facebook software engineers Cheng Zhang and Si Chen explained that the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's traditional ways of determining what shows up in feeds—likes, clicks, comments, shares—don't always give a full picture of what users want. And the changes could weed out publishers that rely on clickbait for traffic.

Facebook asked more than 1,000 users to rate their daily experience and provide feedback on how it can be improved. It also surveyed tens of thousands of people around the world to better understand how well feeds are being ranked. Respondents were asked to give stories a rating of up to five stars according to how much they wanted to see each one show up in their news feed.

Facebook uses algorithms to determine what people see based on each user's connections and activity on the platform. Updates to the news feed algorithm will include the probability that users want to see a given story and how likely they are to engage with it.

"We saw through our research that people reported having a better newsfeed experience when the stories they see at the top are stories they are both likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with," the engineers wrote.

So, how will this affect Pages, the section brands use to manage their Facebook page? That depends on the scope of the audience, how frequently a brand posts and what it posts. But Facebook said brands asking users to take action on a post won't help the way it used to.

"Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on does not match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their newsfeed," according to the blog post. "This update helps rebalance those two factors, so people are seeing relevant stories to them."

February 2nd 2016 Facebook, Technology

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage Third-Party Apps for Local Search & Marketing

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Apps consume the majority of mobile media time, but local business apps struggle to compete for attention. Columnist Wesley Young looks at how SMBs can instead use space on the most popular apps to get in front of customers.

The post 7 Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage Third-Party Apps for Local…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

February 2nd 2016 Facebook, Google

4 Social Platforms That Could Steal Big Super Bowl Bucks Away From Twitter

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While Twitter will likely remain marketers' go-to platform to build Super Bowl social buzz, Snapchat, Facebook, Google and Instagram are all hustling this year to grab a greater share of ad dollars. In the past two years, marketers have devoted serious effort trying to replicate Oreo's "Dunk in the Dark" 2013 viral hit, but this year could be a game changer—and they may find their Oreo moment elsewhere.

For one, Snapchat is a hot commodity on Madison Avenue, while Google and Facebook have more robust ad offerings. "If you want more bang for your buck, Twitter is a safe place—but if you want to be highlighted for doing something novel and unique, Snapchat's really your opportunity to stand out," said Meghan McCormick, social strategy director at Deutsch New York. Here's a breakdown on what the social giants have in play for Super Bowl 50.


On game day, advertisers such as Butterfinger and Mini USA plan to take advantage of Facebook's massive video platform–users now watch 100 million hours of video per day, noted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in last week's Q4 earnings call. The brands will turn their TV spots into autoplay video ads and full-page mobile ads. "We can target specifically people that we think will be in the market," explained Tom Noble, head of marketing for Mini USA.

For fans, Facebook just launched Sports Stadium, an ad-free hub that pulls together scores, game information and posts from teams and publishers. With 1.59 billion users on Facebook, it's a good bet that an ad play will soon follow.


The social darling scored Pepsi and Budweiser, which will advertise in its NFL Live Stories—a string of photos and videos that's sure to be seen by millions during the game. "Snapchat will essentially curate content from users throughout Super Bowl Sunday, and then at some point, our interstitial [ads] will be included in that Story," said Azania Andrews, senior director of digital connections at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

But Snapchat's lack of data and analytics has kept some advertisers from going all in. "I'd rather use my money to target people who are either interested in the brand or are likely to be in market to shop for a car right now," said Nguyen Duong, director of digital strategy at Innocean USA, which created four Super Bowl spots for Hyundai this year.


This year, Instagram comes into its own as a bona fide advertiser. After opening up the advertising spigot to all brands last summer, expect plenty of Super Bowl advertisers to sync up data-heavy Facebook and Instagram promos that target specific groups of consumers—like football fans—while TV ads run.

But Deutsch's McCormick warned that the flood of Super Bowl ads could dilute the photo-sharing app's creativity. "Brands are really struggling to show up on Instagram in a way that feels authentic," she said. "If I see a car commercial on TV and then see a sponsored car ad in my Instagram feed, that's going to feel pretty intrusive."


After sitting on the sidelines for years, Google hopes to grab a bigger portion of Super Bowl budgets this year with a new ad format called Real-Time Ads. Before kickoff, buyers upload their creative and can then choose to instantly run it as a YouTube or display spot during the game. Website maker Wix is already on board. But Michael Dossett, RPA's supervisor, digital content strategy, questioned how quick the new process will actually be.

"The buying experience is not all that different than what you have today," he said. "In reality, people don't go to YouTube or online [to] look at display banners as a source of content related to a real-time moment."

This story first appeared in the Feb. 1 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

February 1st 2016 Facebook, Google, Technology

New Facebook Policy Bans Private Gun Sales From Its platform and Instagram

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The National Rifle Association has nearly 4.7 million fans on Facebook, but the pro-guns organization probably isn't the biggest fan of Facebook tonight.

The social networking company revealed on Friday evening that it is imposing a global ban on private gun sales via its platform as well as on Instagram, the burgeoning photo-sharing app it owns. The move won't affect licensed retailers, which can continue to market firearms on Facebook while completing transactions away from the social platform, said a spokespeson for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company. The measure is instead aimed to stop "'peer-to-peer' sales of weapons" on the site, the rep told Adweek in an email.   

"Today, we are updating our policies for managing regulated goods to prohibit people from using Facebook to offer and coordinate private sales of firearms," the Facebook spokesperson said. "The updated policy aligns more closely with our policies around commerce and advertising, which place similar restrictions on advertisements of regulated goods including pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and firearms." 

With the move, Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg fall in line with online marketplace eBay and digital classifieds player Craigslist in forbidding the private sale of guns on their respective sites. 

The Facebook development was first reported by Reuters

January 30th 2016 Facebook, Technology

Facebook Hires Former CP+B CEO Andrew Keller as Global Creative Director

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Facebook says it has hired former Crispin Porter + Bogusky CEO Andrew Keller as its new global creative director for Creative Shop, its in-house creative team. Keller, who left CP+B last summer after five years as CEO, will report to chief creative officer Mark D'Arcy.

In the newly created role at Facebook, Keller will work on building partnerships with global creative agencies. According to Facebook, he will also be a creative strategist, helping build campaigns for the social network's agency partners.

"Advertising at its best sparks a conversation, builds a relationship and creates value," Keller said in a statement. "Over the last few years, Facebook and Instagram have changed storytelling forever by bringing people and brands closer together in new ways. I'm excited to join The Creative Shop team and to be partnering with the industry to continue this evolution of storytelling."

Keller was "phased out" at CP+B last summer after the agency eliminated his roles—executive creative director and CEO—following the appointment of Lori Senecal to the role of global CEO at CP+B.

"At Facebook we're committed to being the best creative partner to the agencies and clients we work with around the world," D'Arcy said in a statement. "Part of that commitment is investing in world class talent within the The Creative Shop. Andrew Keller has been a driving force in reinventing the advertising industry for almost two decades—he's a builder and is enormously respected."

Keller isn't the first agency creative to head for the tech world. Last year, former global chief creative officer at Rosetta, Lars Bastholm, joined Google to take on a similar role with its in-house creative team, The Zoo. Shortly before that, former TBWA ecd Rudi Anggono joined the same team at Google.

January 30th 2016 Facebook, Technology

Facebook: Business Use of Messenger Going Well So Far

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Last year at its F8 conference, Facebook introduced business features for Messenger, though so far, things have been pretty limited. The ecommerce businesses that have been using it, however, have been happy with it so far. That is according to Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook reported its earnings on Wednesday, and the subject of Messenger came up a few times throughout the ensuing earnings call.

“With Messenger and WhatsApp, we’ve continued to make progress with building these into valuable communication services for everyone in the world,” Zuckerberg said in his prepared remarks (via Seeking Alpha’s transcript). “More than 800 million people now use Messenger monthly and in 2015 we grew that number by almost a quarter of 1 billion while also increasing engagement. We continue to give people new ways to communicate by introducing video calling and new options for customizing conversations with fun things like colors and emojis and by using apps like — using apps, the Messenger platform.”

“We also worked to extend Messenger’s utility by adding payments, a new way to connect with businesses and by testing M, a digital assistant powered by AI,” he said. “In this quarter we also began testing a transportation platform, allowing people to request an Uber ride through Messenger. More services will be coming to the platform soon, including airlines.”

It’s going to be particularly interesting to see what other kinds of services Facebook integrates here as time goes on. One can imagine this type of thing extending well beyond travel-related services.

“On Messenger, the platform efforts in 2015 focused on two things,” Zuckerberg later said during a Q&A. “One was expanding the different types of content that people could share in Messenger. And that diversity is going really well. And we see continued increase in video sharing and photos and stickers, and a lot of stuff that you would just call fun but that people really enjoy as different ways to express themselves. But in terms of the business, the more important piece is how people can interact with businesses through Messenger. And we started some early small tests around f8 last year where with some ecommerce services made it so that people who were buying things could follow up with the business and get customer support and buy more things. And we went through this process of integrating that and making sure that it’s integrated with all these system well. And I think everyone is really happy with that so far. So we started off pretty slowly, but that’s going to be some of the basis for how we look to make Messenger a business going forward. And we’re happy with the initial results. There is obviously a lot more there that we need to do and we’ll have more to talk about this year and beyond.”

Earlier this month, Facebook put out a small infographic looking at 2015’s additions to Messenger as well as expected 2016 trends. There’s a lot of business potential, which you can read more about here (where you can also view said infographic).

Image via Facebook

January 29th 2016 Facebook

Snapchat Is Slowly but Surely Letting More Brands Run Long Video Ads

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Brands are going long on Snapchat—at least with video. After beginning to test the first "swipe to view" video ad with Activision's Call of Duty in November, a series of brands are now experimenting with ads that promote clips longer than 10 seconds.

On Wednesday, three entertainment brands—Fox, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures—ran video ads that encouraged users to "swipe up" to watch longer videos. The promos ran in The Daily Mail, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan's channels within Discover, the section of the app that publishers use to crank out daily content. Snapchat and publishers share the revenue from Discover ads.

Unlike the typical Snapchat ads that are capped at 10 seconds, the studios' promotions prompted people to view longer clips. Universal Pictures promoted the movie Neighbors 2 with a full-length trailer that is two-and-a-half minutes long.

Fox's ad plugged a minute-long teaser for Grease Live, the network's reboot of the 1971 musical that airs on Jan. 31.

And Paramount's promo served up a 90-second trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, a sci-fi mystery movie that comes out on March 11.

A Snapchat rep said the longer ad format is still in a testing period, and it isn't surprising that entertainment marketers are some of the initial brands to experiment with the videos. Universal Pictures was the first brand to advertise on Snapchat in 2014. And Twentieth Century Fox bought the first Sponsored Selfie this fall, while Sony Pictures bought a Snapchat Discovery channel in October.

Snapchat's newest offering is the latest example of how the app is courting big advertisers to compete with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The ephemeral app reportedly has 7 billion video views per day, not far off from Facebook's 8 billion.

The Venice, Calif.-based app is also reportedly building an API into its platform that will let brands measure and target their ads.

Snapchat's moves will no doubt be interesting to watch in the coming months, particularly on Super Bowl Sunday when the NFL creates a live feed of the game that will include interstitial ads from sponsors Budweiser and Pepsi.

January 29th 2016 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

Here Are 9 Intriguing Digital Marketing Stats From the Past Week

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Digital marketing stats in the past week have been all about Facebook, the Super Bowl and the 2016 election, with a few other subjects sprinkled in. Check out the nine data points that caught our eye: 

1. Social video continues to explode
Tucked into Facebook's myriad of impressive numbers that came out in its 2015 Q4 earnings report yesterday was this nugget: There are roughly 100 million video views every day on the platform.

2. finds 'Super' success
None of the Super Bowl videos appear to be going crazy-viral so far. But's first Big Game campaign is off to a good start—since launching its teaser clip on Wednesday, it has garnered 370,000 YouTube views

3. The mobile election 
Sixty-seven percent of Hispanics and 60 percent of black voters visit political sites on mobile devices, compared with 49 percent of voters overall, per a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau

4. Constantly looking at the device
Millennials unlock their phones 200 times a day, while the rest of us do so 150 times every 24 hours. And that's why lock-screen advertising company Unlockd is attracting brands such as Levi's, Starbucks and Hulu as well as investors like News Corp. co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch.

5. Smartphone and tablet search ruled in Q4
Mobile accounted for 52 percent of Google clicks (including ads and organic) in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Merkle/RKG's quarterly report.

6. Data-breached companies are asking for it
Nonprofit security and privacy watchdog group Online Trust Alliance (OTA) said 91 percent of data breaches in the first part of 2015 could have been avoided if the affected companies had done their technical due diligence. 

7. Facebook goes native
According to Facebook, native formats now make up more than 80 percent of impressions through its ad network (known as the Facebook Audience Network) and perform as much as seven times better than standard banner formats. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has seen a fivefold increase in the number of publishers offering native ads year over year.

8. Clinton vs. Sanders on social
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has more than 2.5 million Facebook fans, besting rival Hillary Clinton's 2.2 million. But Clinton has 5.24 million Twitter followers, easily beating Sanders (1.24 million) on the microblogging site. Meanwhile, they are generally even on Instagram—Hillary has 762,000 followers, edging Bernie, who has 635,000. 

9. Trump and Cruz—the livestreaming battle
On the other side of the aisle, it's interesting to see GOP frontrunners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz using Facebook's new livestreaming feature. The moves seem wise considering Trump has almost 5.5 million fans on the site, and Cruz has 1.8 million fans. Trump, meanwhile, has 198,000 followers on Periscope to Cruz's 25,000 on the livestreaming app.

January 29th 2016 Facebook, Technology