Publicis Groupe and Facebook have signed a multi-year partnership that represents a new set of agreements built on product co-creation and innovation rather than just inventory and ad buying.
Developed and led by Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), this deal combines the assets from both companies to enable Publicis to reach precision audiences at lower ad rates and provides Facebook with access to well-known and attractive advertisers.
The multifaceted agreement is designed to focus on three key areas of interest: 1) data access and integration, 2) visual storytelling through Instagram and 3) online video. All three will combine to create what the companies say is a new “value-driving” product that includes integrated planning, insights and measurement tools.
Although both sides have been working together for more than three years, this particular agreement has been in the works for about five months, say sources. The deal will be available to all Publicis Groupe agencies in North America, followed by global rollout over the coming months.
As part of data access, both companies will collaborate to identify opportunities to run experiments using closed-loop measurement systems. And a joint Publicis Groupe and Facebook measurement task force will explore various measurement systems to learn which metrics are most meaningful.
Facebook's tools have evolved dramatically over the past two years, and the social network sees these partnerships as validation for its enhanced fleet of offerings and capabilities.
At the same time, Publicis will have access to the Facebook application platform interface (API) and SMG will integrate its content advertising platform -- CONTENT@SCALE -- into the recently announced Facebook Ad Network. And SMG's other tools, including media planning and convergence modeling products will be integrated with Facebook assets.
Instagram access is a key part of this partnership. Now, Publicis Groupe agencies and clients will have the ability to tap into Instagram's images and visual storytelling -- areas that are critical to younger demographics and hold exciting opportunities for marketers -- through creative consultation and development support.
Publicis Groupe and Facebook will work closely to ensure the agencies’ clients are getting maximum value and effectiveness of Facebook’s premium video service, and to meet the platform’s stringent ad creative requirements. In addition, a video integration partnership will provide infrastructure for digital sight, sound and motion.
Facebook executives declined to comment on whether similar deals are likely with the other holding companies, including WPP and Omnicom, but say the social network remains entrenched and embedded with all agencies and will continue to introduce unique collaborations.
Most recently, Facebook and Omnicom announced an Instagram-specific initiative rumored to be worth up to $100 million.
For their part, agencies remain keenly interested in the social network. WPP, for instance, plans to spend more on Facebook this year -- probably $650 million, versus the $480 million it spent last year -- according to WPP's CEO Martin Sorrell during his company's call with financial analysts.