The d$%# industry won’t sit still, will it? Good, we would be bored anyway. I thought it might be interesting to brain dump some of the things we’re excited about executing over the next few months.
1. Atlas NOT Shrugged
Maybe I’m nostalgic, but I am stoked that Facebook kept the Atlas name despite it being 100% new code base. Although they didn’t coin the term “people based measurement,” the Atlas crew is clearly and quickly defining a new path. Needless to say, we have been extremely impressed with the knowledge and excitement of the Atlas leadership and client partners. The platform will very quickly accelerate the way we define and grow new audiences by diminishing ad waste and increasing match or look-alike confidence.
Their strategic sales approach has been to seek out existing clients and larger holding company networks first and then open up integration to independents, like our hearty crew at PMG. Fortunately our incredible development team, our attractive brand base and 6 months of harassment helped us jump the integration line – a bit. I also like to believe that the nature of my handsomeness expedited an agreement.
2. Twitter “Signals” For a Change: Partner Audiences Network
The partner network has been in the BETA mix for a bit; however, the wider release allows for more realistic use testing and innovative campaigns creation. Twitter has seemingly led the “signal” tech over the last 12 months with the success of their TV targeting pack. As of March 5th, you can select more than 1,000 partner audiences from Acxiom and Datalogix.
Large brands have already seen success in the targeting enhancements during the preliminary white listing:
Per Twitter – Nestle’s @Butterfinger leveraged partner audiences for the launch of its new product, Butterfinger Cup Minis. By targeting Promoted Tweets to Twitter users who frequently purchase peanut butter candy in grocery stores, convenience stores and other in-store destinations, @Butterfinger achieved a 52% lift in engagement rate compared to Nestle’s overall performance in 2014
Although Twitter alludes to an ROI enhancement with these data additions, we would refrain from campaign hedging for the next few quarters. To be clear, we do believe that deeply attributable brands (e.g. Nestle) will be able to connect the engagement path but most sophistication isn’t there yet.
Now for my performance branding opinion – Twitter is definitely the glue (and a necessity) for your brand voice and story. Use this new targeting information to define new customers, create affinity, reach loyal or lapsing customers and drive recall.
3. Evolution of Multi-Product Ads | Facebook
Multi-Product ads were released last summer; however, most brands have not taken advantage of the format. The biggest change in this placement is the ability to take advantage of the mobile format, which is now a multipurpose slider (3 image tiles + logo tile) in the news feed. We have also found the Facebook pixel updates (2.0) to be extremely advantageous to targeting and behavioral feedback.
Some brand ideas:
- OpenTable – food, wine, restaurant shots or top 3 – 4 restaurant logos
- Travelocity – top 3 vacation spots for Texas families, aspirational destination iPhone backgrounds, user generated location photography
- Hurley – dynamic wave/break updates by beach, best product for a specific beach location, 3 best breaks in southern California
I eventually want a way to tie-in the “meh” right rail with the newsfeed. Despite Facebook’s lack of investment in factorization of the right rail, I think there is an opportunity to develop “take-over” brand blocks so that brands have the ability to consistently have presence in the NF and RR within a single view.
4. Is 6-second Video the New 15? YouTube Bumper Units
Video is still a mainstay, but there are seemingly a number of large barriers to entry. 2 of the biggest barriers are the lack of creative resources and the risk of diluting brand favorability (because of the intrusive nature of video). I am in the industry and get hacked at the quality of most trueview/pre-roll advertisements.
YouTube’s Bumper unit gives both advertisers and consumers a break. It allows brands flexibility through a risk-“less” format that doesn’t interrupt a browser’s consumption. What defines a Bumper ad?
- 6-seconds max
- It allows brands to aggregate 1-sec snippets from their current channel
- Think snack-able content, like the ever present GIF
- Available on YouTube and YouTube Display Network
5. Instagram Carousel Ads are Legit
Currently, we are only able to target age and gender with this unit. I mean who cares when that gorgeous fem care post shows up in your feed, right? Wait. Ok, the Facebook/Instagram teams need to continue to build out targeting capabilities, however the simplicity of this unit is… kinda attractive. There have been a number of brands that we’re eager to see fall into this unit over the next few months. Brands like L.L. Bean and AirBNB jumped head first into the sponsored posting and I have to say they’re killing it. This is not a unit for every brand and for the safety of my soul; I implore IG to keep our feeds free of excess.
Brands that we would like to see in this space:
- AirBnB (do it again)
- Virgin America
Instagram will continue to be an incredible opportunity. Imagine how Facebook might be leveraging Atlas on the Instagram backend to gather audience and behavioral data for dynamic targeting outside of the platform. Nerd-out.
5 1/2. Trader Joes Citrus Chicken Salad
Needless information, but as a friend (or virtual acquaintance) I am excited to continue eating this salad in Q2. I recommend you pick one up at your local Trader Joes. *See refrigerated section next to the hummus.