What brands can expect from Pinterest ads

Visual social network Pinterest this week launched its first paid advertising product, Promoted Pins, open to a trial base of more than a dozen US brands.

Brands including Kraft, Disney and Gap have signed up to trial Pinterest’s Promoted Pins advertising format.

Pinterest first announced it was to test the Promoted Pin format in September, which allows brands to buy keywords to bump up their positioning in search results and within category feeds on the site.

Advertisers signed up to the US-only test launched this week include Banana Republic, Expedia, Gap, General Mills, Kraft, Nestle, Target and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. They will be trialling Promoted Pins to target the 40 million users eMarketer estimates the site will have in the US by the end of 2014.

Marketing Week spoke to Pinterest’s global head of partnerships Joanne Bradford about what marketers can expect from the site’s paid-for advertising proposition.

Marketing Week: What is your elevator pitch to advertisers? What makes Pinterest differ from other digital media properties like Facebook or Twitter, for example?

Joanne Bradford: Pinterest is a visual planning and discovery tool that helps you plan your future. Facebook is about your past, Twitter is about what’s happening now, and Pinterest is about the future. Marketers want to reach people when they aren’t even looking, when they’re considering their options, and when they know what they want. People do all of these things on Pinterest and businesses are a natural part of this cycle.

MW: When will users (US or internationally) start seeing Pinterest ads? And when will UK users begin to see ads?

JB: US pinners will see Promoted Pins available beginning today in their category and search feeds.  We are trialling promoted pins in the US first and will be looking to expand internationally sometime in the future. It’s too early to say when we’ll roll out advertising opportunities to the UK.

MW: What stood out about your launch partners? Did they already have strong Pinterest communities?

JB: Kraft, Expedia and Banana Republic are all great examples of businesses already using their Pinterest boards with large numbers of followers.   These partners are also interested in working with us to evolve and provide feedback on the product. They represent a variety of vertical industries which we can learn from and we believe our Pinners will enjoy their rich and tasteful content.

MW: At this stage, brands advertising with Pinterest need to sign up to a three to six month commitment. Why did you take this approach?

JB: Yes, typical commitments are three to six months. Our goal with our partners is to work closely with them to understand what they are looking for. We are taking the time to learn from them and pour their feedback back into the product. Our goal is to create the best experience for pinners and for partners.

MW: Do you foresee a future when Pinterest might be able to offer a self-service ad platform? Is that achievable in the short term?

JB: Yes, stay tuned. We hope to have more information to share soon.


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