Video advertising still kinda sucks. The persistent video advertising model typically forces viewers to suffer through 15-30 seconds of excruciating pain while waiting to view the content they actually want to watch.
Anthology is Facebook’s attempt at improving the video advertising experience by increasing both the quality and relevance of video ads.
Here is how Facebook described its new program: “Anthology is equal parts art and science, pairing publisher creativity with Facebook advertising insights to create custom campaigns that meet brands’ business goals. The program gathers a number of leading publishers to lend brands their creativity, storytelling expertise and video production know-how.”
Facebook is Already Dominating Video
Based on research from over 180,000 Facebook posts across 20,000 facebook pages owned by brands, Facebook took over Youtube in total # of video posts in 2014. While the rapid growth in Facebook video posts from brands is astonishing, the video engagement metrics show Facebook’s real dominance in video. As the link above shows, In December of 2014, Facebook received over 80% of all video interactions on the Internet.
Increasing Video Advertising Relevance
Relevance is the key to any successful advertising empire, and Facebook’s in-depth understanding of who its members are should allow for advertisers to create extremely relevant video content.
The next relevant video advertisement I see may be the first. I honestly can’t remember ever taking action based on a video ad. In a world of native advertising where the lines are blurred between organic content and advertising, video ads feel a lot like television commercials: painful, forced, and outdated.
Facebook knows what we like, what our friends like, where we live, and what we do for a living. The company spent 2014 training us to click on videos in our news feeds, and it will continue to show us videos from the brands we love. In advertising, relevance always wins — and Facebook is absolutely in the best position to create a sustainable video advertising platform.
Increasing Video Advertising Quality
Google AdWords was a breakthrough in digital advertising, and keyword-based advertising allowed marketers to attack their marketing funnel in a sophisticated fashion. The problem for Google (which it will never be able to “fix”) is what happens after the user clicks on a relevant ad. The advertiser’s landing page factors into Google’s quality score, but poor landing pages lead to a poor customer experience. There is only so much Google can do to force advertisers to step up their landing page game.
Facebook Anthology sends a clear signal to video advertisers that ad relevance is only part of a successful campaign. To increase audience engagement with video ads, advertisers must be committed to the quality of the content they are producing.
Facebook partnered with a who’s who of video content creation to demonstrate their commitment to high quality video. The list of initial partners for the Anthology program i includes Funny Or Die, The Onion, Vice, and Vox Media.
While it appears the Anthology program is currently only targeting large advertisers (2 million minimum buys) it clearly signals Facebook’s intention to build the highest quality and most relevant video advertising platform on the Internet.