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IAB UK Digital Upfronts: Facebook unify TV and mobile advertising

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Facebook commenced this week’s IAB UK Digital Upfronts on Monday morning (October 19) with a session packed full of insights about today’s mobile world. Ed Couchman, Facebook’s UK head of agency relations kicked-off proceedings at the social network’s HQ in North London. Couchman discussed how marketers are currently operating in a world where digital and mobile has overtaken TV. He said: “People come to Facebook about 14 times a day, or once every waking hour, while some 26m people in the UK access Facebook on mobile.”

Facebook commenced this week’s IAB UK Digital Upfronts on Monday morning

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With that in mind, Matthew Corbin, Facebook’s head of global product marketing, took the opportunity to announce what Facebook is describing as “TRP buying.” This is a new system that will enable brands to extend their advertising reach beyond TV to Facebook with a unified planning and buying system. He explained that mobile video presents challenges in terms of measurability, comparability and infrastructure for many brands, with the idea being that this offering will complement traditional TV campaigns and extend their reach. He also said that Facebook provides some 11% of incremental on-target audience to TV.

Matthew Corbin, Facebook’s head of global product marketing, took the opportunity to announce what Facebook is describing as “TRP buying”

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Matthew Corbin (left) and Ed Couchman (right)

Describing TRP buying as the starting point for a unified ad buying process, Corbin also announced a handful of other new video formats, such as sequential messaging on Facebook, brand polling (with Millward Brown), and other new video advertising features including “Watch Later,” “Watch and Scroll” and “Suggested Videos.” He explained that Facebook intends to enable brands to curate what individuals care about, via immersive and engaging experiences. He added that “Sight, sound and motion opens hearts and wallets,” referring to the fact that people are known to watch TV and play with their phones or tablets at the same time, which is something Facebook plans on taking advantage of with their new TRP strategies.

TRP buying is a new system that will allow brands to extend their advertising reach beyond TV to Facebook with a unified planning and buying system

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Instagram was also present at the event in the shape of EMEA brand development head Amy Cole, who pointed out that the photo-sharing site represents the world’s fastest growing social network, with 400 million monthly active users. Instagram is all about the power of images, she said – whilst offering brands practical guidance to inspire and connect on the platform. She pointed to recent successes from brands like online furniture retailer Made.com, which she said saw a 10% increase in average order value with users coming from the photo-sharing network. In the panel discussion that closed out the event, the IAB’s COO Jon Mew urged brands to think about context, and the power of sharing on mobile devices in particular.  He said: “Mobile is the first screen, the one that is watched the most. But often video content is not optimised per device.” Describing the ultimate aim for brand communications on Facebook’s platforms as “Thumb-stopping moments, Couchman concluded with a call-to-action: “Very few brands are getting it right. We’d like to embrace this new world and work with you.”

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