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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 16, 2013

Leaked Facebook Pitch Shows Big Advertising Plans Afoot

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Facebook (News - Alert) may have some plans afoot in terms of making some new inroads with some new video-based advertising plans, at least if the story told by a leaked deck showing how to sell said advertising bears out. The 32-page deck offers some interesting advice in terms of how to pitch said ads, as well as just how said ads stack up against competing media. If this deck bears out, then television and YouTube (News - Alert) alike have some cause for concern.

“Never say anything negative about YouTube,” the deck, titled “Facebook for Business: Video on Facebook” notes. “Leave the impression of the user experience up to them.” That's just part of the impressive document that notes that Facebook video advertising would have several critical advantages over its competing brands, from better reach than television to better targeting than YouTube, offering up some distinct value for the advertiser.

Said document was released to marketers as opposed to a meeting, and was reportedly protected by NDAs, but the leaked copy still offered some very compelling selling points all the same. For instance, the document points out: “Changing consumer behavior should shape where you spend your marketing dollars.” The document goes on to note that “Facebook has unparalleled targeted reach,” and “...the most engaging digital real estate” in the form of Facebook's news feed.

Facebook certainly has the straight number support to augment such concepts. Not only does it, at last report, boast 1.15 billion monthly active users, it cites a study from eMarketer (News - Alert) in which 2013 will see digital content use pass television use. Said study goes on to note that users will open Facebook 10 to 15 times per day, and open phones 100 times per day, giving Facebook—now ever more mobile than before—a distinct advantage. Facebook follows it up with further statistics, noting that major television networks can only get between 55 and 61 percent of 18 – 24 year olds in prime time, but Facebook lands 70 percent. While there are certainly other online media properties for advertisers to tackle these days, Facebook counters the idea of these by noting that people simply spend more time on Facebook and Instagram than on YouTube, Yahoo, and several others combined.

Nielsen rankings certainly bear this out. While NBC Sunday Night Football was the top program for the week of December 2, it could pull just 19.065 million viewers. By way of comparison, that week's installment of “The Big Bang (News - Alert) Theory” pulled just 15.627 million. Facebook's 1.15 billion users monthly dwarfs that, even when parceled out over the course of a month.

There's a lot to be said for online advertising. Not only do online ads get quite a bit more longevity than television-based equivalents—newspapers sometimes liked to note the pithy saying: “The spoken word is like the air, but the written word is always there.”--there's also a significant improvement in value thanks to really tight targeting. There's no worry about trying to run an ad for, say, a child's dolls or a grocery store on a modern action program; online efforts can be much more closely rendered to that particular audience. But advertisers are often still hesitant to commit dollars on a comparatively new media, which online advertising essentially is. Though there's a significant risk in losing users via oversaturation, there's a lot of potential reward here. The end result may prove to be one that's very lucrative for Facebook, and potentially for other online venues beyond that that can use Facebook's success as an example.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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