As a self-centered, self-absorbed blogger (oh wait, that’s redundant) I am more than happy to air my opinions about all and sundry. But on a topic like Facebook’s new auto-play video ads, whose success will rise or fall depending on how they are perceived by a wide variety of consumers, I am more curious to hear what you, gentle reader, think of them -- both as a social media user and also from a marketing perspective. So: if you’ve seen one of the new video ads (or merely seen them demonstrated), what do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!
The reason I ask, of course, is that at first glance the video ads, which play automatically in your Facebook news feed, might be considered, well, kind of annoying (from an ordinary user’s point of view). Indeed, according to a survey of 735 Facebook users conducted by Analytic Partners and cited by The Wall Street Journal, 83% of respondents said they would find video ads of the sort introduced by Facebook “intrusive.”
Considering that the mantra for social media marketing has always been to “engage” consumers via “contextually appropriate” advertising, which somehow blends into the social media experience and even amplifies it, rather than “disrupting” it, large-scale deployment of an ad format that users consider intrusive would seem to be an admission of failure.
But on the other hand: so what? Perhaps advertising, with its mission of grabbing our attention and focusing it on things we weren’t previously thinking about, is just inherently disruptive? Meanwhile the fact that TV still receives the lion’s share of advertising dollars suggests that disruptive advertising, however annoying it may be to consumers, still works when done correctly.
And there I go again shooting my mouth off. I can play devil’s advocate for both sides, but in the end all that matters is how Facebook users react to the video ads. So again, please share your thoughts in the comments section -- I’m curious to hear what you think!