Facebook is launching a large-scale ad campaign on the streets of the United States and United Kingdom in a bid to get more people to start streaming using its Live Video service.
The ads will be featured on TV, the web, and outdoors on digital and traditional billboards at train stations, buses, bus shelters, and airport baggage claims. The 15-second visual clips feature Facebook Live broadcasts shot by the platform’s users in the vertical format popularized by mobile video. Emojis and reactions can be seen drifting across the clips, as users interact with the broadcast.
“We designed our campaign to reflect the authenticity of Facebook Live. All of the content for the campaign — every video, every image — was shot using Facebook Live on a phone,” said Gary Briggs, the company’s chief marketing officer, in a Facebook post. “Many of the videos you’ll see in our TV spots are from real people around the world, and none of the dialogue was scripted.” Check out one of the promos below.
The outdoor part of the campaign will include both the videos, which will be featured on digital billboards, and posters that contain tutorials describing how to go live from your current location. The baggage carousel ad, for example, states: “How to go live while everyone is waiting for the first suitcase to drop,” and features a step-by-step guide to the feature.
In the past, Facebook has partnered with celebrities, social media stars, and media publishers to promote Live video, spending a reported $50 million on the deals. It also maintains a weekly blog highlighting the most notable streams of the week. The ad campaign, however, indicates that Facebook realizes it needs the general public to adopt live-streaming for it to truly become a popular phenomenon.
Whereas media publishers already have access to a built-in audience on the social network, resulting in solid viewership figures, the same can’t be said for the site’s general users. Aside from the odd viral success story (like “Chewbacca Mom” Candace Payne, whose jubilant clip broke streaming records), the burgeoning feature has not yet established a network of popular creators in the vein of YouTube.
It is, however, gaining traction with the platform’s 1.65 billion users. The number of users broadcasting at any given minute has gone up four times since May, according to TechCrunch. Facebook has also implemented changes to its News Feed to give Live videos more prominence, claiming the format is three times more engaging, and results in 10 times more interactions than standard videos.