A few of us noticed a curious new ad unit pop up in our Facebook feeds yesterday. The unit is a video that also displays open comments from your friends circle about that ad. Real-time, ongoing conversation about the ad - which potentially gives advertisers a peek directly into the sentiment of the audiences receiving the ad. I think this is a game-changer for social ads.
Inside Facebook notes: Facebook will fill the sponsored home page slot with this kind of unit.
1)Clicking on the ad image opens a video player in-line
2)Comments on the video are visible to your entire friend list.
The comments around the ad dramatically increase engagement with the unit, as the highly visible comments provide an opportunity for users to simultaneously draw attention to the ad by drawing attention to themselves.
*While this could backfire if comments degrading the advertiser are abundant ("this movie is Lame"-type commentary could overwhelm - but hey, the comments are from your friends so it has a certain relevance to you), the ad comments take powerful advantage of Facebook’s social dynamics to draw attention to an ad in a way that is impossible without the social graph. When is the last time you heard 9 friends talk about an online ad in the same day?
Ad comments are an interesting step forward in the evolution of “Social Ads.” While this kind of ad may not work as well outside of a few advertiser verticals, expect that early advertisers will be pleased with its performance.
Aki's quick takeaways:
1) Ads will need to become more engaging and comment provoking or risk flaming commentary (or worse, not being worthy of notice and comment)
2) Advertisers will need to become reactionary to response...maybe change the ads up, or try 10 ads - monitor feedback/response/actions taken and let the top 2 effective ads move forward
3) Advertisers will need to become choiceful about what they put in this channel...relevance and interestingness will matter now more than ever
4) EVERY MEDIA will soon be made more accountable to results and data of this nature for every ad media buy
Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.