Facebook Turns Up the Volume on Its TV Ad Pitch
The world’s largest social network has had those ambitions for a long time. But now you can see them ramping up a TV play, via some public messaging, in front of your eyes:
- Eight days ago, Facebook announces, via social TV tracker Trendrr, that its users produce five times more TV chatter than Twitter.
- The next day, during Facebook’s earnings call, COO Sheryl Sandberg pointedly mentions Facebook’s usage during prime-time TV hours. Twice.
- Yesterday, Bloomberg reminds us that Facebook has plans to sell TV-style video ads.
And today comes research from Nielsen, paid for by Facebook, pointing out that Facebook draws more eyeballs than TV during the day, and lots of eyeballs during prime-time TV. And Nielsen says Facebook attracts more 18-to-24-year-olds than the four major TV networks at night.
Just like Twitter, which has made TV a focus of its ad pitch, Facebook is trying to walk a line: It wants TV ad dollars, but it doesn’t want to scare away the TV programmers and distributors, so right now it is telling advertisers to buy Facebook ads to complement their TV ads, not to replace them.
That’s also probably realistic, since, despite all the talk you hear to the contrary, there are no signs the $76 billion TV ad business is moving online anytime soon.
But if you’re Facebook, or Twitter, or anyone else on the Web, you will be very happy to start being included in TV ad planning, and not in the digital leftover budget. And then, maybe one day, you can start getting TV ad dollars, for real.