Intrusive social ads should be avoided, experts say
Brands should move away from intrusive ad formats regardless of the options offered by social media platforms, industry experts have said.
It follows Youtube and Facebook’s adoption of opposing video strategies.
Campaign revealed last week that Youtube will discontinue its 30second unskippable ads next year in an attempt to improve user experience. Meanwhile, Facebook has announced that in-feed videos will automatically play with sound on.
While supportive of Youtube’s step to improve user experience, Dan Rosen, global advertising director at Telefónica, praised Facebook’s move, which he called a “brave decision”.
Meanwhile, Callum Mccahon, strategy director at Born Social, said that if brands want to attract users to their films, they need to “create video content that people enjoy watching”.
He added: “Social video needs to be watchable and shareable rather than annoying and intrusive.”
Mccahon speculated that Youtube may be concerned about losing viewers, while Facebook is more focused on pleasing advertisers.
“Facebook has made a calculated bet that users won’t mind [sound],” he said. “Reading between the lines, Youtube is worried about the progress Facebook is making in this space.”
However, just because Facebook has aborted its silent-video default does not mean brands should rush to embrace it, Sam Fenton-elstone, chief digital officer at VCCP Media, said.
“This is a short-term gain for longterm pain,” he said. “All advertising needs to move from disruption to complementary forms and narratives. Ad-blockers are a symptom of a relationship that is sick. The more we move into an ecosystem which facilitates a less disruptive approach to delivering brand messages, the better.”
Facebook’s move away from silent video is surprising in the wake of recent Twitter research that found silent, in-feed videos perform well in terms of viewer recollection and relevance. Joel Roberts, performance director at Mediabrands Society, said muted videos were effective: “When the creative was properly optimised for Facebook, it was a nice user experience.”
Roberts believed Facebook wants to make it easier for advertisers to properly compare videos with Youtube: “The Facebook ad platform provides like-for-like video metrics for crosschannel reporting but the elephant in the room has always been the fact Facebook’s ads don’t play with sound.”
Facebook’s TV app launch last week may also be behind the decision, he added. “It’s cheaper and easier for brands to have assets that work on multiple channels, and that’s going to help sell impressions.”