Premium Video ads work across desktop and mobile and play automatically without sound as a user scrolls through their News Feed. If a video is clicked, it becomes full-screen and begins to play with sound. At the end of the playback, a carousel featuring two additional videos appears.
All brand videos must go through quality control via Facebook’s preferred marketing developer partner Ace Metrix, which uses a qualitative and quantitative panel to measure the creative quality of a video and highlights performance indicators such as meaningfulness, watchability and emotional resonance.
Premium Video ads are bought in a similar way to TV spots and are based on gross rating points to reach a specific audience over a short period of time. Campaigns are measured by Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings tool and marketers only pay based on what the independent third party research house measures.
Facebook has been testing the format with a number of US advertisers including Macy’s, Progressive, NBC and Unilever since December.
Comparethemarket is using Premium Video to support its current major UK TV push which sees its brand ambassador meerkats on holiday in Africa.
The advertiser has paid to reach 5.6 million of Facebook’s 26 million UK daily active users within a 24-hour period, with a bespoke video featuring the meerkats.
The Premium Video buy is also being supported with direct response Facebook advertising. That includes Page Post Link ads to target users that watched the video with messaging encouraging them to buy insurance products with the incentive of a free limited edition meerkat toy and the use of Facebook’s Partner Categories product, targeting people who have their insurance due for renewal next month using data about users’ offline behaviour from partners Acxiom and Datalogix.
The campaign was a collaborative effort between the brand’s creative agency VCCP, media agency MEC and Facebook’s own Creative Shop, according to Gareth Jones, Comparethemarket’s associate director of marketing, planning, digital and direct.
He told Marketing Week: “We like to think of ourselves less as an insurance and financial services brand and more an entertainment brand and this kind of experimentation is what we are prepared to do more of in the future. For us, Premium Video is all about entertainment.”
When Facebook Premium Video was initially announced, there were concerns raised by some users that the introduction of the ad format would interrupt their experience on the site. But this morning, just hours after the video campaign launched, Jones says the ad has already racked up more than 5,000 likes and shares and that the sentiment in the comments is “overwhelmingly positive”.
The brand will receive real-time reports from Facebook about the campaign’s performance and will also continue to mine the comments for sentiment, Jones says, but he adds that the ultimate measure of success will be converting “brand love” for the meerkat characters into conversions.
Facebook’s UK managing director Steve Hatch says: “Facebook is driving a shift in people’s video viewing at scale, particularly in mobile. We are very excited that one of the nation’s favourite brand icons, Alexander and family, has chosen the rich creative canvas of Facebook Premium Video to tell the next chapter in their story.
“Premium Video is designed to provide beautiful content that is carefully crafted in high-quality sight, sound and motion. Coupled with Facebook’s daily UK reach of 26 million people gives advertisers, agencies and creatives an unmatched opportunity to connect with customers and non customers alike.”
Last month Facebook credited a 67 per cent year on year jump in its second quarter ad revenue to marketers beginning to treat the social platform in the same way as TV and understanding its “strong…creative opportunity”.