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.
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

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
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.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs