Imagine you’re driving down a highway and you see a sign that says “Coming Soon – But don’t worry.” You drive a little further and see a sign that says, “Coming Soon – But it’ll be quick.”
The next sign says “Coming Soon – But if you don’t like it we might remove it.” Finally, you reach a sign that says “It’s Here! Don’t Worry, It’s Safe.”
You’d be worried, wouldn’t you? All those cautious warnings. All those promises. It sounds suspicious so by the time you actually see the “thing” that was coming soon, you’re already predisposed to fear it.
That’s Facebook’s Premium Video Ad program.
The social network has been threatening to fill our newsfeeds with auto-play video ads for months. No sound though. You have to click if you want sound. Which makes the advertisers unhappy. Why bother autoplaying if you can’t have sound?
Now, Facebook has added a whole new layer of strangeness to the program. I’ll let them explain it.
To make sure Premium Video Ads are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds, we’re working with a company called Ace Metrix to help us review and assess how engaging the creative is for each ad — before it appears on Facebook. Ace Metrix will allow us to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. We’re taking this step in order to maintain high-quality ads on Facebook and help advertisers understand what’s working to maximize their return on investment.
Let me get this straight. Advertisers are going to spend beaucoup bucks on a video that they feel properly promotes their product in a creative way then they have to submit it to a third-party judge before it airs? Just look at the words in that paragraph; “objectively measure”, “creative quality” “emotional resonance.” Good heavens – it’s an ad on Facebook, we’re not trying to win an Oscar.
Oh! Watch out! Here come those warning signs again. . .
We’ll roll out Premium Video Ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them. This limited introduction allows us to concentrate our efforts on a smaller number of advertisers with high-quality campaigns to create the best possible experience on Facebook.
Have you ever heard anything more tentative in your life. It’s like Facebook knows they’re headed for FAIL, so they’re dropping mattresses everywhere to soften the blow when they fall.
And so the commenting begins and the same question keeps coming up – will there be an opt-out option for mobile users who pay a premium for data? Facebook doesn’t have an answer for that. But you can be sure that if the mobile numbers start dropping, the next sign will read “Facebook Video Ads – Out of Business.”