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Facebook helps brands advertise on mobile devices in developing countries

In a bid to capitalize on Facebook’s existing users in developing countries where mobile networks are already available, if slow, social networking giant Facebook has launched the Facebook Creative Accelerator, a new program helping brands design mobile ads that work technologically and culturally in high-growth countries outside the West. In recent months, ads for Nestlé, Durex and Coca-Cola have been launched in India, Indonesia and Kenya, respectively. Turkey and South Africa are next on the list.

In a bid to capitalize on Facebook’s existing users in developing countries where mobile networks are already available, if slow, social networking giant Facebook has launched the Facebook Creative Accelerator, a new program helping brands design mobile ads that work technologically and culturally in high-growth countries outside the West. In recent months, ads for Nestlé, Durex and Coca-Cola have been launched in India, Indonesia and Kenya, respectively. Turkey and South Africa are next on the list.

According to a Facebook post, through this initiative it will tailor advertising campaigns based on the user’s region and device used in developing countries. Advertisers will also be able to develop and send rich media ads, such as videos, to users with faster Internet connections and still images and other relevant media, for users accessing Facebook on a weaker connection.

“[Creative Accelerator is about] how we can make stories, connect brands with people—but also their technical realities of their situation, with varieties of phones and bandwidths,” Mark D’Arcy, Chief Creative Officer of Facebook Creative Shop, Facebook’s group that works with agencies and brands, and runs Creative Accelerator told Time.

According to the report, the key to the Creative Accelerator program is a technique that can tell whether a Facebook user is on a fast or slow mobile connection, then serve them a speed-appropriate ad. A Facebook user with a 3G connection, for instance, might get a photo ad, while another user in the same country on 2G might get a text ad for the same product. 

In India, for example, Facebook worked with Nestlé to launch an ad for Nestlé Everyday, with a video ad for faster connections and a photo ad for slower connections. Nestle Everyday wanted to reach people in both metro and rural areas in India. Facebook worked with the brand and its agencies, Publicis Delhi and Media Alliance, to develop creative based on people’s bandwidth strengths and device types. People accessing Facebook with lower bandwidths on feature phones and low-end smartphones received still images from Nestle Everyday. People with stronger bandwidth connections and more sophisticated devices received videos in News Feed.

Here’s what it looks like:

As another example, Facebook worked with Coca-Cola in Kenya to spread a message of happiness to people. Facebook partnered with Coca-Cola Kenya’s creative agency, McCann in South Africa, to create a campaign across all device- and connection-types in the country. As people uploaded their own #Kenyanhappiness stories, Coca-Cola spread those messages of positivity around the world.

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