News / Science & Technology

Facebook Challenges TV for Brand Dollars

FILE - Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through glasses.
FILE - Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through glasses.
Reuters
Lacking the millions of dollars it costs to broadcast a Super Bowl ad, Britain's Newcastle Brown Ale gate-crashed the biggest advertising event in the United States by creating an archetypal big budget campaign that it never intended to run on television.
 
The Heineken-owned brand's beer commercials, which poked fun at the marketing tactics of rivals advertising in the American football championship game, ran on Facebook and Google's YouTube instead.
 
The stunt was a success, generating a similar level of online response as some brands that bought Super Bowl air time.
 
Brand director Quinn Kilbury said consumers had grown tired of big-budget advertising cliches, such as dramatic voice overs. “They love the fact Newcastle says it as it is,” he said.
 
One video shows Hollywood actress Anna Kendrick talking about how she had been dumped by Newcastle Brown Ale because they were too cheap to pay for the ad.
 
The average cost of a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl - which this year was the most-watched U.S. television program in history with more than 111 million viewers - was around $4 million. Newcastle said its campaign cost “a fraction” of a Super Bowl ad, without specifying a number.
 
The Kendrick video attracted 63,336 shares across Facebook, Twitter and blogs, of which 56,116 came from Facebook alone, according to marketing technology company Unruly.
 
That would put it 19th in the ranking of online responses to Super Bowl ads, in front of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt but a long way behind first-ranked Budweiser, which was shared more than 1.9 million times, Unruly said.
 
Newcastle's campaign is held up by Facebook as an example of how the social network can help advertisers by getting hard-to-reach young consumers to engage with, share and talk about the brand.
 
It is a message Facebook has taken to marketers at the Cannes Lions international advertising festival this week.
 
The social network will work with agencies and marketing departments to create campaigns that engaged users in different ways than television, said Mark D'Arcy, Facebook's Director of Global Creative Solutions.
 
“People have absolute freedom of movement across screens,” he said. “So the thought that we are living in the 1990s and we have the ability to command and control somebody's attention span on any platform is crazy,” he said.
 
Sales of Newcastle Brown Ale in the United States overtook its home British market around two years ago, the company said. The brand appeals to young U.S. city dwellers looking for an alternative to the big-name beers.
 
The spoof Super Bowl campaign was the latest in a series of online ads that “tell it like it is”.
 
Aiming high
 
Brand advertising, which builds awareness of a product or service's name, has largely been confined to television, said Ian Maude from Enders Analysis.
 
“Television is the still the king of brand advertising,” he said. “TV advertising is very robust. But younger audiences, aged 16-24 are shifting to digital devices, dominated by Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.”
 
He said Facebook was pitching itself as a brand medium alongside television.
 
“In terms of the scale of the audience, they don't compare themselves to other digital media, they compare themselves to TV,” he said. “They are gunning for brand advertising.”
 
Facebook is looking to brand advertising to grow its sales, eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said. The tech and media analyst group forecasts Facebook's advertising revenue will rise from $6.99 billion in 2013 to $10.75 billion this year, $14.01 billion in 2015 and $16.96 billion in 2016.
 
Kilbury said Newcastle's success was down to the creativity of the campaign, devised by its agency Droga5, which in turn was honed by Facebook's improved analytical tools.
 
“A year and a half ago it was difficult to get a readout in real time of how your posts were performing, but Facebook can legitimately tell us an hour after it posts, what's working here, who we are reaching, and who it is reaching the best,” he said.
 
For Newcastle, another advantage of using Facebook was the ability to test and tweak ads, nearly in real time.
 
Changing the placing of the product shot, the number of words in the ad, or the opening image on a video affected the number of clicks an ad received or the number of times it was shared, Kilbury said.
 
“It's not so much the creative as the way you package the creative,” he said.
 
But Facebook does not want to upset users. It is offering 15-second ads to play with the sound muted in newsfeeds in Britain, Brazil and five other countries.
 
D'Arcy said people were foremost looking for relevance when consuming content on Facebook, and advertisers needed to work with this to build a brand on digital media.
 
“We have an ingrained sense of entitlement in the marketing industry that we have a right (to advertise),” he said.
 
The targeted approach, and the requirement to make ads fit with content, can be a disadvantage for marketers, looking for the big splash to millions of people at the same time, something that event television still provides.
 
“Big brands always look for big, splashy eye catching images that create an emotional pull,” said eMarketers's Aho Williamson.
 
“On Facebook you can do so much targeting, it becomes a challenge for advertisers who are used to thinking in broad strokes.”

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs