Sources say Adidas has paused its video ads on Facebook while it reviews their efficacy
Facebook’s measurement woes have left Adidas questioning its spending on the platform.
The marketer’s media team stopped buying video ads on Facebook and is reviewing whether to cut its spending there due to concerns that people aren’t regularly viewing its ads there, according to three separate agency executives, speaking on condition of anonymity. The executives said Adidas is frustrated about the limited amount of data Facebook shares with its marketers to verify the efficacy of their ads, even as it becomes more expensive to advertise on the site.
Up to 30 percent of what Adidas spends on Facebook could be wasted, said one of the executives, who works with Adidas’ media team, which recently completed an internal audit of its spending on the social network.
“Adidas aren’t happy with what’s happening to their money,” said the executive.
Adidas and Facebook declined to comment for this story.
The review uncovered enough waste to convince Adidas to pause its spending. Viewability and retention rates for those ads aren’t high enough, said another executive, who works with the company. While viewability isn’t always the best way to measure a campaign’s success, an advertiser like Adidas that creates a lot of video content wants to know people don’t just see a post as they scroll through their news feed, but also watch it. There were instances last year, for example, when only 22 percent of an advertiser’s videos were played in view. In the case of Adidas, it uses Moat to track how much of its own videos are played in view, which can be tricky if Adidas isn’t given access to Facebook fast enough to guarantee the platform’s reported numbers are correct.
Adidas hinted at changes last summer, sharing its dissatisfaction with industry viewability standards and the desire for better clarity about the impact of the ads it buys on Facebook. Facebook may have massive scale, but if its ads don’t lead to business results like higher sales, Adidas will turn to the channels that can.
The sportswear advertiser isn’t the only one frustrated with Facebook. In a CMO Council survey of 233 senior marketers, 62 percent said reports of false metrics from Facebook have pushed them to pull back on spending on it. Few, however, have left Facebook entirely. Executives with knowledge of Adidas’ review said the company’s relationship with Facebook has been a key point in discussions to date.
“Adidas is spending a lot less on Facebook and is looking at bigger integrations insofar as if they do continue to spend on the platform, then it could be with publishers that have influence on the platform,” said the executive who works with Adidas. “They’re thinking, ‘We’ll do something interesting beyond just running ads that people might want to skip past.’”
Interestingly, Adidas continues to work with Instagram, said one of the executives, despite its misgivings about Facebook.
If Adidas is concerned about privacy and data integrity on Facebook, the same should be true for Instagram because the platforms are part of the same ecosystem and use the same data, said Tod Loofbourrow, CEO of video company ViralGains.
“I would definitely caution those treating Facebook and Instagram differently to reconsider that notion,” he said.
The shifting rights market for sports has influenced Adidas’ view on what media it should buy. As the advertiser creates more digital content like “Tango Squad” episodes, it needs platforms that can get that content in front of fans on a regular basis. It’s why Adidas is venturing into esports, while looking to work with more influencers and sports publishers. The advertiser also is using Snapchat, becoming one of the first companies to sell products directly through an augmented reality lens in the app and is considering Snapchat for more e-commerce campaigns.
For more on the evolving world of video, subscribe to Digiday’s weekly video briefing email.
‘Exceeded our marketers readiness’: As e-commerce growth accelerates, Dentsu is adding a new practice to meet the demand
The commerce practice was already in the works but the pandemic and changing consumer behavior due to the pandemic accelerated it.
‘Hooked on the Facebook drug’: Media buyers say smaller brands will return to the platform, but bigger brands will continue to boycott
Large consumer brands aren’t happy with Facebook’s response to the boycott so far and will likely wait until fall to reconsider the boycott.
Nobody in elevators, fewer gag lines: How an agency is remaking its ads to fit the coronavirus era
The process has allowed the full-service agency to enlist its post-production arm to help its clients adjust ads rather than press pause on advertising due to the ad content.
SponsoredAs live sports roar back onto screens, brands capture a social-media lift
By TJ Adeshola, head of U.S. Sports Partnerships at Twitter Live sports are back and sports fans couldn’t be more excited. It’s no surprise that communities across the country are welcoming their teams back with open arms. For many, the return of sports brings a sense of normalcy — 67 percent of U.S. fans see […]
Member Exclusive‘People have to be more aware of bullshitters’: Why there’s a push for more realism in advertising now
In advertising, there’s long-been a “fraud problem” in that the industry has a surplus of poseurs or bullshitters.
Why beverage startup United Sodas is testing out a new out-of-home strategy
Out-of-home advertising has slowly picked back up in recent months. But now DTC brands, who've long favored the sleek subway ads, are finding new ways to target potential customers as pedestrian foot traffic picks up in cities.