Consumers may be worried about Facebook’s data governance but predictions that the Cambridge Analytica data scandal would trigger a mass defection of advertisers have been smashed to smithereens by new figures which show a 19% increase in ad spend on its core platform and Instagram quarter-over-quarter and a 48% increase year-over-year.
Across all of the six major publishers, data science and marketing technology company 4C Insights tracked a 15% increase in ad spend over the second quarter, and a 49% increase year-over-year.
When the data scandal first broke in March, Facebook’s value was slashed by $35bn (£26bn); eight weeks later the company’s stock price had bounced back to where it was before the controversy.
4C claims Facebook’s “Teflon” performance can be attributed to strong ROI for marketers, dispelling any fall-out from Cambridge Analytica. Last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office reported it will fine the company £500,000 – the maximum possible under the Data Protection Act 1998. Commissioner Elizabeth Denham admitted that under GDPR, the firm could have faced a penalty of “tens of millions”.
Looking ahead, Facebook’s grip on the market is likely to get even stronger, the report claims, with the firm poised to capture growth from new formats like augmented reality ‘Story Ads’. Meanwhile, Instagram benefited from shoppable items on its main feed and in Q2 opened up Stories to allow brand ‘stickers’ that send users to retail experiences.
To assess digital advertising growth, 4C analyses a representative sample of more than $250m in media spend from over 1,000 individual brands managed through its platform. To gauge TV advertising trends, 4C’s Teletrax technology monitors 2,100-plus TV channels around the world while keeping track of the biggest advertisers in the UK.
4C Insights chief marketing officer Aaron Goldman said: “The push to bring highly visual aspects from Instagram into Facebook ad placements is resonating with brands looking to draw in their audiences using visual cues.”
In Q2, Snap introduced Shoppable AR lenses offering advertisers a new direct response ad placement and, going forward, will offer a “Visual Search” engine that allows users to scan, identify and purchase an item via Amazon simply by using their smartphone’s camera. Such innovations helped Snapchat advertising spend increase 45% YoY through 4C, led primarily by the apparel vertical, as well as health.
In a similar vein, Facebook’s new augmented reality ad feature for its news feed works across the categories of fashion accessories, cosmetics, furniture, gaming and entertainment. Michael Kors was the first brand to pilot the offering, giving customers the opportunity to try on different looks.
The evolving dynamic between brands and consumers and the importance of an audience-centric experience was reflected in Advertiser Perceptions’ recent report. The survey of 303 senior US and UK marketers found that 89% of agree that audience-based campaigns are key to success, but 85% feel the current fragmented media landscape requires a new marketing structure that enables advertisers to operate seamlessly between publishers and platforms, including digital and TV.
While the high-profile merger of AT&T and Time Warner shook up the TV industry in Q2, more locally the World Cup dominated the airwaves, with Paddy Power seeing the greatest lift in social media engagement following UK TV ads.
Measured around the group stage matches from June 14 to June 25, the betting company saw a social lift score of 696%, with its “Enough of the Nonsense” campaign, that plays off the introduction of VAR technology to the game. Similarly, TV ad spots from Betfair, Coral achieved an average social media sentiment score of 71% from nearly 250,000 engagements with all three brands.
Goldman concluded: “With today’s tech giants making acquiring rights to broadcast sporting events, we’re seeing an accelerated convergence of TV and digital. Combining live sports and social media allows advertisers to reach their most engaged consumers by delivering timely content during key match moments. Not only is this a fantastic platform to elevate the sports property and league, but carries the added benefit of providing measurable results for brand sponsors and advertisers.”
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