Facebook is raising its bid for brand advertisers’ TV budgets.
Facebook will offer advertisers the option of having the company measure how the ads it sells influence people’s awareness of a brand and how that compares with advertisers’ TV campaigns, the company announced on Friday.
With the new measurement solution called Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift, Facebook will survey people shown ads across Facebook, Instagram and its Audience Network ad network to see if they remember an ad and the corresponding brand. Then it will report how “brand lift” on Facebook compares with brands’ TV ad campaigns measured in a similar way by TV ad analytics firm iSpot.
Facebook expects to roll out the cross-platform brand lift measurement program to advertisers sometime in early 2018.
Being able to measure impact of Facebook ads on brand lift and compare it against TV and other non-Facebook campaigns is not new. Facebook already offers brand lift studies through its sales team, and advertisers can order similar studies for Facebook and non-Facebook campaigns from companies like Millward Brown and Nielsen. Facebook is offering access to Nielsen’s Total Brand Effect With Lift program that similarly reports Facebook and TV campaigns’ impact on brand lift. That is now available to advertisers in the US and the UK through Facebook’s sales team and will open up to advertisers in Australia by the end of the year.
The Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift solution is available to advertisers with lower spend minimums than those who qualify for third-party measurement. It offers self-serve reporting tools such as measurement of Facebook usage during TV commercial breaks.
It’s a shrewd move by Facebook. If Facebook’s brand lift studies can show more advertisers that their ad spend on the platform yields compelling brand metrics, it could lure bigger budgets across a wider set of advertisers. The cross-platform studies also provide a common language across media buying teams. By showing Facebook brand lift next to that of TV campaigns, Facebook could stand to gain budget allocations if marketers see that pairing Facebook and TV together provides better results by running cross-platform campaigns.
While having Facebook measure brand lift may lower the requirements for advertisers interested in tracking brand impact, it does require a higher leap of faith, since Facebook will be effectively grading its own homework, and given the series of 10 measurement errors that Facebook has disclosed over the past year, including one announced earlier this year in which Facebook incorrectly charged advertisers for video ad carousel campaigns.