The recent Facebook logout ads executed by Hindustan Unilever and Bharti Airtel, got us to question its efficacy compared to its reach and cost. Here are the mixed opinions by industry experts and how going further, only content would be the key to its success.
Facebook’s sinking stock prices may be the talk of the town. But what amazes me is the new ways of generating revenue by the social networking giant. While Facebook Exchange drives revenue from outside the network, Facebook Logout ads provides brands with maximum reach, just what brands had been wanting for!
Facebook Logout Ads allows a brand to show a full page ad while the user has logged off Facebook. International brands like Ford, Subway, etc. have been the early adopters of this set of premium ads.
Effectiveness of Facebook Logout Ads
In India only Komli Media is authorized to offer these ads to brands since it is the only official ad partner in the country. Touted as one of the most expensive ads (our sources tell that they could cost you from 28-30 lakhs/day) on the network, it has been tested in the first week of August by brands like Fair and Lovely for men from Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and the Airtel Friendship day by Airtel India.
As per LiveMint, the impressions based logout ads were run on some 10 million unique users who had logged out from the platform.
“The Facebook logout ad is an impression based buy, and the ticket size is reflective of the number of logouts that happen on a day. This placement offers 3X more impressions than other video placements available in India today”, says Radhikarani Sengupta from Komli Media.
Definitely, the positioning of these ads and the reach has instigated the interest in the Indian brands who have always been complaining about the size of the sponsored ads in the feed as well as the panel. Sanjay Mehta a veteran in this business and the Joint CEO at Social Wavelength thinks,
“Since it is prime inventory and has large page views as per FB stats, the ads will be hot property and will be picked up by brands, no matter the high cost at this time.”
The cost and the effectiveness definitely has been the center of debate. Preetham Venkky, KRDS Asia Business Head thinks that an average premium TVC for 10 sec demands an ad budget of Rs. 10 lakhs at prime time while the Facebook Logout ads in addition to the reach are much more effective from the execution point of view.
“These ads which are impression based should be targeted by brands as awareness campaign. Along with this, these ads provide you a clean slate experience since you have no disturbance of news feed”, he adds.
However, not everyone seems to have an opinion that Facebook is the right platform for advertising when the objective is to gain maximum impressions with an ad budget of Rs. 28-30 lakh per day. Adhvith Dhuddu, Founder of AliveNow, a Bangalore based social media agency, shared that if the brand manager is ok with paying tons of money to get their brand displayed when logging out, and just get millions of impressions, then they’ve got what they want. However he further adds that,
“If you want impressions there are better advertising platforms where you can get a higher bang for your buck. Ad spends on Facebook should be done with an aim of getting likes, comments, shares, etc. (i.e. engagement) and not on getting impressions.”
Exclusive content: key to success?
Nevertheless, these ads will find takers especially from the multinational companies who have the budget to bet on impressions. But along with price, effectiveness of the content is also a point to be brainstormed. For example the ad that was shown by Fair and Lovely was already doing the rounds in the idiot box. Shouldn’t brands think of producing exclusive content for Logout Ads? The objective is also that a user performs an action when she is bidding good bye to Facebook for the moment, and not just see replicated content.
“It seems to me that the logout ads are being used as a broadcasting medium just like TV. But if you are advertising the same content on TV and on the logout ads too at such a great cost then it really makes no sense to me.”
Content is going to be a challenge. Preetham goes one step further to say that at present the logout ads have no call for action. He says that he would love to see ads attaching some contest or deal otherwise no one would be interested to share it with their network.
“Would you look at a flier given to you when you are leaving a movie and rushing to the parking lot? At present that is the state of Facebook log out ads. You will have to attach something attractive to grab attention from people.”
Highlighting on the future of Logout ads, Preetham shares the YouTube success story. He says that one of the reason why people consume more videos on YouTube is because at the end of the video, you are shown a list of related videos that could be interesting to the user.
“Associated content is the next step that brands need to ponder upon.”
Cost won’t be a hindrance for brands who are playing with Facebook Logout ads but when the objective is reach then that will happen extensively with fresh and unique content. Brands will have to look at the social medium with a set of new lenses. Perhaps tomorrow Bollywood producers will run Facebook log out ads with an exclusive preview of an upcoming movie only for the Facebook audience and give a free ticket to the first 10 shares or a discount of 20% for the first 50 shares.
The possibilities are endless and Sanjay sums it up well – “Effectiveness of ads is always a factor of the right inventory and the right creative. So freshness, uniqueness, etc. will appeal and will be factors for success.”
P.S. We were unable to get the number of views received by the Logout ads from Komli since both the brands have decided not to share them at the moment.