Reebok eyes holistic video ad buys across YouTube and Facebook

Video advertising isn’t an either or choice between YouTube and Facebook for Reebok and it’s working to make holistic ad buys across the two platforms.

The sportswear maker wants as many people to view its ads as possible on platforms that are increasingly getting advertisers to pick sides. These so-called walled-gardens want ad buys in isolation of other channels to maximise revenues whereas Rebook wants to look at video in the round.

YouTube and Facebook should complement not conflict one another, according to Reebok’s director of US media and digital branding Jessica Ruscito, who has tested the theory. Last year, the brand partnered with video ad buying platform Pixability to A/B test identical creative and targeting on both platforms. The results were interesting in as much while YouTube and Facebook have very different impacts on completion rates, cost per view and clicks they need to be used together to optimise all those KPIs.

User behaviour on YouTube is more intent driven and therefore completion rates were four times higher (20.4 per cent) for the TrueView buy than they were for the same video on Facebook (4.5 per cent). Targeting on YouTube drove a 50 per cent increase in terms of the impact on the audience versus just standard targeting, while the cost per views was cheaper on YouTube ($0.07) in comparison to Facebook ($0.11) when it looked at the whole 30-second ad views

Despite this, Facebook emerged as the platform for better engagement for Reebok with 0.301 per cent engagement rate per impression versus YouTube’s 0.163 per cent. Rebook and Pixability attributed the difference to the fact that on Facebook interactive element such as Likes and shares are easier to understand and take up more screen real estate.

“When planning our video ad strategy, we wanted to ensure that no matter when or on what platform, a consumer would be delivered relevant content to engage with our brand,” said Ruscito.

“By standardising metrics, Pixability provided us with data to understand how our ad dollars should be spent across platforms based on campaign goals. The campaign proved to us that premium video platforms have complementary strengths, and that executing – and optimizing -- across platforms results in the best campaign ROI.”

Armed with these insights, Reebok hopes to take a step closer to planning holistic campaigns in order to get more from its video buys. And while YouTube and Facebook are unlikely to collapse their walled gardens, platforms like Pixability and ad tech companies including Quantcast, Tapad and Drawbridge are emerging to help brands view their campaigns through a single lens.

Chris Bennett, managing director for Pixability’s Europe business, said: “If you want access to the best inventory and the whole suite of products from either Google or Facebook then you end up paying a lot of money and heading down this funnel. But that doesn’t allow the brand or the agency to understand what it [that buy] might look like in the round.

“Brand marketers don’t think in silos. It’s only the [tech] companies that do that.”

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