This month has seen new ad innovations worthy of note to our clients, partners, and marketing friends. Overall, 2012 has been a year of tremendous opportunity, as highlighted by the Product Listing Ads and Google Shopping innovation on Search and Facebook’s entry into the ad exchange marketplace. We expect 2013 to continue to introduce new opportunities by large publishers looking to monetize their traffic by attacking both sides of the budget ledger: performance and brand.
Facebook Video Ads in the News Feeds
Facebook ad revenues increased in 2012 largely due to the introduction of ad revenue stemming from mobile adoption. Continuing that trend, Facebook has announced plans to introduce a video ad product in the first half of 2013 that will display within the news feed on desktop and mobile devices (both smartphones and tablets). Clearly aimed at capturing TV brand budgets, the video ad product is expected to accommodate 15 second ad formats. However, this will require brand TV advertisers to re-cut videos from their traditional 30 second format which would seem to be one additional hurdle for budget dollar allocation.
On the desktop platform, the video ad is expected to expand out of the news feed, thereby garnering greater attention on screen. No information on the mobile ad format specifics is known. Naturally, since it is pre-release, Facebook product teams may continue to evolve the execution based on user feedback.
The most highly debated product feature is the auto-play feature, which would have the video start playing automatically. Although not cemented, I presume that user testing will clearly point to audiences squashing this feature from initial release.
From one behemoth to the other, Amazon released news of the launch of their RTB advertising exchange. Aimed clearly at the retargeting budgets from performance media buyers, Amazon is now going head to head with Google and Facebook for ad sales.
Similar to the Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX), advertisers would be able to retarget shoppers across Amazon and Amazon partner sites. However, the uniqueness or advantage for Amazon is their ability to cross-target audiences with their treasure trove of online shopping behavior.
Does this position Amazon ahead of Facebook in the RTB space? Quite possibly however, as Amazon tests out the execution and performance, competitive advantage will only result if Amazon can get comfortable with providing access