Facebook Promotes Video Ads As A Solution For Brand Safety


Facebook is touting its latest creator programs and new shows as it seeks to prove to advertisers that it is more than just social media.

At the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s fall market event on Tuesday, Facebook executives told marketers that its video ad offering fits into the connected TV and streaming space. , while emphasizing the video brand security features, which have become a salient topic for advertisers.

This isn’t necessarily a new post from Facebook, which has been tempting marketers for years with quality control measures in video ads. But the message was increasingly urgent as Facebook faces stiffer competition from younger rivals like Snapchat and TikTok, and more advertisers demand safer spaces to serve their ads. .

Facebook’s in-stream video ads are one of the few places on the social network where brands can control where they appear using tools like ‘topic exclusions’, which allow brands to avoid subjects that offend their sensitivity. Facebook is working on similar tools for the News Feed, but it’s still in development.

Bianca Bradford, Director and Head of Agency of Facebook in North America, explained how the company developed video advertising, known as “in-stream”, which runs inside produced videos. by creators and publishers. Facebook introduced “subject targeting” this year, which allows brands to choose the subjects of the videos in which they appear. There are hundreds of categories like sports, relationships, and vacations, Bradford said.

“These features only matter if you feel comfortable with where you are placing your brand,” Bradford said.

Over the past year, advertisers have demanded more transparency and control over how ads are served on Facebook. Just this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was exempting certain accounts of celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures from sanctions, even when they posted content that violated Facebook policies. The report addressed issues that brands have been pushing for months: the need to understand how harmful content spreads across the platform, the prevalence of harmful content, and how marketers can avoid it. However, Facebook has made changes and recently brought in the Media Rating Council to independently audit brand safety controls and content monetization policies.

“While our community standards apply to everyone on Facebook,” Bradford said during the presentation, “we also have state-of-the-art brand safety policies, controls and reporting processes. industry to ensure that advertisements are delivered in a high quality environment. “

The IAB’s fall event is sort of a mid-season NewFront presentation, with platforms and media companies trying to attract big brands with their video programs and new advertising capabilities. The event included the Roku, Samsung Ads, Vevo, and A + E networks, but Facebook was the event’s only major social network or internet platform.

Facebook is trying to grab a bigger chunk of the advertising dollars that shift from TV to video streaming. In order to earn these budgets, Facebook needs professionally produced programs from popular individual creators and top publishers. Facebook introduced Watch, which is the video hub of the social network, with shows like “Red Table Talk,” the talk show hosted by Jada Pinkett and Willow Smith, and a new reality TV show that follows Olympian Simone Biles. Facebook is also investing in creators, promising to spend $ 1 billion on online stars until 2022. As of June 2020, Facebook has distributed more than $ 30 million to creators of various colors and backgrounds.

Ryan Ibanez, head of media planning at Volvo USA, presented a case study of how the automaker used Facebook’s “In-Stream Reserve” advertising service. In-Stream Reserve is the most controlled video content, so brands can ensure ads appear in favorable settings.

“We were impressed that our TV-plus-Facebook strategy was generating higher incremental reach and ad recall than TV alone,” Ibanez said. “With Facebook In-Stream, we have had better control and visibility over the necessary settings for brand safety and suitability, including insight into the environment in which our content appears. “

In recent weeks, Facebook has reached out to agencies and brands to promote the video, said Jennifer Kohl, senior vice president, integrated media at VMLY & R. TikTok has done the same, Kohl said, as the two platforms compete against each other to meet the needs of brands interested in social video, e-commerce, and creators. TikTok, the Chinese app, has been a particularly pesky rival for Facebook and YouTube, commanding longer view times, attracting brands with viral buying trends, and even switching to smart TV with an app on Amazon Fire TV. .

“There is room for each of them, as consumers will be socializing for more than just watching over their families,” says Kohl.

Mary Kate McGrath, COO of Some Spider Studios, a parenting content production company, also spoke at the Facebook video showcase, providing insight into the evolution of social media: “This is a mistake for people to think of video purely as social video, ”she said.

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