In 2016, Facebook took in about $27 billion in ad revenue, second in the world only to Google’s monstrous $79 billion, and more than double the globe’s third-biggest advertising earner Comcast. So it’s understandable why the social network is an influential presence at the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
The company is hosting a whole host of panel talks, discussion sessions, and more, between its own beachside speakers series, and execs like Sheryl Sandberg talking about how creative mobile advertising work can help brands build communities around their mission and products.
But behind the obligatory show of the Cannes Lions stage, Facebook is also taking the opportunity to unveil new tools for marketers to use on its platform, and talk to both agencies and brands about where to go from here.
“This year in Cannes one area of focus will be how marketing is becoming more agile,” says Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions. “To move at the speed of the consumer and drive results, marketers must test, learn and iterate much more rapidly than they have in the past, and it’s our job to work across the industry, to build tools and solutions that will help marketers succeed in today’s mobile world.”
Last year at the festival, Facebook unveiled Creative Hub, an online platform for agencies and brands to more easily create ads for Facebook and Instagram. This week they’re launching two new features for Creative Hub around a more efficient way to test and distribute the ads created on the platform.
Agencies have praised working with the Creative Hub, so these new tools should only improve their ability to create and distribute ads. JWT New York executive creative director Ben James says the Creative Hub has completely changing the way they present work to clients. “Because of this tool, I think we’re going to see creative work from agencies speeding up dramatically when they understand and use this tool. We were shocked at how we could so easily share work straight to our phones. We just can’t educate people about this fast enough.”
Droga5 strategist Adam Van Dyke says these tools help them stay as up-to-date as possible on the ever-changing social media landscape. “The Facebook Creative Hub is a valuable tool that provides creative inspiration, helps us to understand the intricacies of each ad format, and allows us to easily mock up work for presentations,” says Van Dyke.
The first new Creative Hub feature will give marketers a snapshot of video results, insights advertisers need to optimize their ads based on real metrics, to make sure it’s perfect for the mobile feed. The second major development is the ability to create and deliver your ad, all from directly within Creative Hub, cutting out the time and, often, extra formatting of ads when being sent between creative agencies and media agencies or other partners. Both touch on Everson’s themes of agility and speed.
Graham Mudd, director of product marketing at Facebook says these tools not only help their marketing partners, but also Facebook itself make its ad system more efficient.
“The new tools allow a creative agency to test a campaign or work, then once it decides it’s good to go, allows it to bundle it up and pass it to the media agency who puts the budget behind it and executes the buy,” says Mudd. “Underlying this is that a connection has been made between the creative assets, the creative agency, the media agency and the advertiser, can now all be associated together in our systems, which we’re hoping will allow us to continue to build functionality that continues to connect these areas of the (advertising) ecosystem.”
The theme of agility and speed continues in the company’s annual Creative and Client Council meeting, which puts two of Facebook’s advisory councils in one room to discuss industry issues both generally and how Facebook can help address them.
Facebook Creative Shop chief creative officer Mark D’Arcy says the meeting will involve new idea presentations, a look at the year that was, and a lot of discussion around the need for more collaboration between the clients and agencies of the world. In that sense it’s continuing a conversation D’Arcy spoke about here last year.
“We spend a lot of time in our industry talking about what we make–and Cannes is a perfect example of that–and I think one of the big conversations we want to have is around how we build, and the agility of how we build, and the way in which the creative process needs to look at other ways to come together,” he says. “How do we work at a greater velocity? How do we approach diversity? How do we approach collaborative credit? These are questions that come up in our industry around the globe. So we talk a lot about providing forums for these questions to be addressed.”