Unilever Tries Out Video Advertisements on Facebook

Unilever Tries Out Video Advertisements on Facebook

lopFacebook users this week will start to see one of the first video ads on the social networking site. Consumer product company Unilever, the parent company of Dove, is running the advertisements on Facebook. The advertisements depict young girls looking into a mirror, and are a shorter version of a previous Dove ad. These ads align with the “love the skin you’re in” sentiment popular in Dove marketing campaigns and will be shown to millions of users.

Facebook previously ran a video ad for the film Divergent in December 2013. The advertisement, known as a “Premium Video Ad” was a trailer for the film, which performed well at the box office. Now the website is dipping into a new territory with advertisements for consumer products. The company has been focusing on fine-tuning its ad approval process and letting only ads through that aren’t obtrusive or annoying to users. NBC Universal was the first television company to purchase video advertisements on Facebook and bought an ad for the network’s midseason show’s Rosemary’s Baby, Undateable and “Night Shift. The campaign ran for 24 hours and was displayed to Facebook users aged 18 and older.

Compared to the Divergent and NBC advertisement block, Dove products aren’t nearly as exciting. They’re not trying to get consumers to watch something entertaining, but rather make a purchase. This is the first real big test for consumer product video advertisements, therefore media and advertising experts to anxious to see how the new campaign fares. Facebook already offers advertisers the ability to post video ads on their individual corporate Facebook pages, then pay to have them promoted heavily. However, the new Dove advertisements play automatically in users’ feeds drawing attention. Currently Facebook is seeking around $1 million per day for the video advertisements.  Many advertisers are holding off until they can measure the effectiveness of the campaigns. While YouTube features video advertisements that begin with sound after loading, the Facebook video ads begin without sound, a feature users are likely to enjoy. Users also have the option to scroll past them without watching, which means the challenge is on for creative directors to create a compelling silent advertisement.

Social media analysts forecast the Facebook video advertisements will generate around $1 billion in revenue a year, as more advertisers embrace the option. The social media giant is worth billions and isn’t struggling by any means, so with a $2.5 billion posted last quarter. Facebook’s Chief financial officer David Ebersman warned marketers that the growth rate may slow as the technology company’s advertisements advance and mature. The addition of video advertisements as well as Facebook’s mobile-advertising network will likely keep growth rates high. The Dove campaign will help set the scene for how the company helps businesses enter a new age of advertising to consumers.

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