The ad format, which Facebook calls Collections, lets retailers combine a video or image that, when clicked, presents mobile users with a full-screen display featuring up to 50 products.
Collection provides a mobile ad format for retailers to tell “visual product stories,” says Maz Sharafi, Facebook’s director of product marketing. The ads feature a primary video or image above product images. When a user clicks on the ad, it quickly opens a full-screen display that features up to 50 products at a time. Clicking on a product then takes the shopper to the product page on the retailer’s website or app.
There are two ways to create the new ads: Retailers can manually select the images that appear below the product image and in the larger display that appears when the ad is clicked. Or, Facebook can draw on the product catalog the retailer has uploaded to the social network to dynamically and automatically place products in those spots based characteristics defined by the merchant.
“Our idea was to create a powerful, engaging ad format that pairs video and related products, but that also delivers a fast experience,” Sharafi says. “Ultimately, we want to get people quickly to where they can buy the product.”
Facebook’s newest shopping ads aim to let retailers tell ‘visual product stories’
In that way, the ad format mirrors Pinterest’s Promoted Video ads, which also seek to mash together a branding component—namely a video—with a direct-response component. Pinterest’s Promoted Video ads are timed to play at the same pace with which the user scrolls down a page. When a shopper clicks on the video it opens Pinterest’s native video player. The video ad is then presented with the advertiser’s promoted pins featuring products shown in the videos below the video.
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