Facebook’s Wide Video Ads Finally Debut

Facebook is finally rolling out its video ads to a larger group of advertisers – in a wide format to try to directly compete with the TV ads. The 15 second “premium” video ads will play automatically when a user rolls past them, and if users click on the ads sound will start playing and the ad will expand. Facebook is ensuring that good, well-targeted ads work in users’ feeds by working with Ace Metrix, a response measurement tool that feeds Facebook information about user engagement potential via the ad’s creative, before it appears on Facebook, to weed out bad ads. Facebook wouldn’t say if there are any plans for specific campaigns, but this news today is one of the final moments before the social network launches the ad network after having dawdled for several years; the news first broke in 2012 that Facebook would launch video ads, and only now is it properly coming to fruition. Facebook is pitching video ads at $1 million per day for one of four broad demographics, and all four can be had for $2.4 million. 

Twitter and TV: An Advertiser’s Targeting Paradise

Numerous studies have shown that people tend to multitask with their technology.  Twitter’s jump into the advertising pool has certainly been informed by this behavior, and their seeming omnipresence gives them a unique perspective on how brands can effectively target their audiences.  Twitter is now rolling out TV Ad Targeting to all US advertisers following a beta launch in May.  The service is based on technology acquired with BlueFin Labs, a TV analytics service Twitter bought in February, that uses video fingerprinting technology to determine which ads played in which markets during which shows.  By feeding Twitter users ads related to the TV they are watching, Neilsen studies state, message association rises by 95% and purchase intent jumps up almost 60%.  This capability, combined with improved analytics for advertisers could make Twitter an even more valuable and easy to use second screen tool for marketers looking to push their campaigns to the next level.

Gracenote’s TV Ad of the Future

Gracenote, the service best known for being the recognition and recommendation technology used in iTunes, has now expanded its technology to ID video sources as well – now it’s ready to branch into TV. The Sony subsidiary hopes to capitalize on second-screen TV viewing by offering advertisers the opportunity to target the masses with precision similar to that available with web-based ads.  Their algorithm dynamically inserts ads based on what is playing on the screen and demographic data about the viewer.