Facebook Debuts Showcase, New Video Ad Program

As Facebook bounces from one PR nightmare to another, the company’s fundamentals remain stronger than ever. That’s because its platforms and ad-targeting technology remain central to much of Madison Avenue.

Hoping to further secure that enviable position, Facebook just unveiled Showcase -- a new premium video ad program designed to give digital video and TV ad buyers participating in the upfront selling cycle new opportunities to reach target audiences.

Although Facebook’s community might be aging, it’s still younger than your average TV audience -- a fact the company is communicating to advertisers.

Over the past three months, 43% of U.S. consumers who watched premium video content on Facebook were 18-34 years old, compared to 28% of TV viewers, according to internal estimates.

As part of the Showcase rollout, Facebook will now offer what it’s calling in-stream reserve ads -- video ad placements that can be bought in advance at a fixed cost and delivered to in-target audiences verified by Nielsen.

In-stream reserve ads give brands access to the approximately 100 million U.S. consumers watching premium videos on Facebook’s flagship property, every month.

The offering also allows advertisers to choose content packages in specific categories, including sports, fashion and beauty, entertainment, food and news. These are also purchased in advance at a fixed cost.

Additionally, Facebook is now inviting brands to consider exclusive program sponsorship deals, as well as having their ads appear in videos with similar themes.

Adding to its program roster, Facebook just unveiled “Human Discoveries” -- an animated comedy series starring Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick.

The social giant is also partnering with MTV Studios to launch reimagined versions of ‘The Real World” on Watch. New seasons in the U.S., Mexico and Thailand are already in the works.

Finally, Facebook is also offering various options to measure Showcase results, including Nielsen Total Ad Ratings, Digital Ad Ratings and brand lift offerings from Facebook or Nielsen.

In tests, Facebook says Showcase is doing well. Across 13 statistically significant Facebook brand lift studies, it saw evidence that in-stream reserve ads drove positive ad recall lift, with a median 10-point incremental lift.

Of those studies, 69% saw an absolute average incremental lift in ad recall that outperformed their vertical benchmark.
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