Hello! Welcome to another edition of the Advertising and Media Insider newsletter. If you got this forwarded, you can sign up for your own here.
Here’s what you might’ve missed over the holiday week.
Facebook’s overhauling its business model as it tries to fend off regulation. It’s been tying apps Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp closer together to keep people inside its ecosystem and using the apps more, which it hopes to parlay into more ad revenue — and in the process, juggling its ad ranks. Lauren Johnson assembled a list of the top Facebook executives who setting the company’s strategy and keeping its $55 billion ad business humming.
To understand Facebook’s ad business, these are the people to know:
- They include highly visible execs like Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions; and Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing officer, who are in charge of, respectively, communicating the company’s strategy to its biggest clients and restoring its reputation with users and advertisers.
- But there are also people like Jim Squires, Instagram’s head of business, who’s in charge of finding new ways to monetize the photo-driven app; and Liron Wand, head of developer partnerships at Messenger, who is trying to help advertisers do one-on-one messaging with users.
In other Facebook news, we covered its continuing effort to monetize Watch, its 2-year-old video tab. Facebook is dialing up ads in Watch by testing ads in shorter video clips.
- The expansion shows Facebook is still figuring out its commitment to high-quality video content. It’s been two years since Watch launched, and it’s taken a while to make it a habit with users. There’s still a question of whether Facebook can draw TV-like ad prices for video content on the small screen.
- Facebook isn’t alone in trying to win viewers and advertisers with mobile video; other ad-supported streaming video services are on the way from the likes of Quibi and NBCUniversal.
Elsewhere in Facebook news, I was intrigued by this report by ad-tech firm Polar that argues that Facebook’s secret sauce isn’t just its targeting ability but its ad formats.
- Among the takeaways: Facebook has 11 ad formats that cater to all advertisers’ needs, helping drive strong results.
- But ads are getting more expensive in the Facebook app and their effectiveness is going down.
Here are other stories we’ve been reporting. (You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)
LaCroix’s retro branding and word-of-mouth marketing catapulted it to the top. But it also exacerbated the crisis it faces today, experts say.
The bubbly water’s sales fell following accusations it uses artificial ingredients, but it’s also had problems with increased competition, leadership gaffes, and outmoded marketing, branding experts say.
Brat cofounder explains his strategy for landing brands like Universal and Mars Wrigley for his media company built around YouTube stars
The teen-aimed media company says it got fully 70% of viewers to watch an entire 60-second ad that ran in front of one of its shows, showing that using talent from its shows in ads can make them feel less interruptive.
What separates a promising TV show pitch from a dud, according to a former Fox TV exec who spent 70 years in the business
Harris Katleman, 90, reveals the hit-making formula behind "The Simpsons" and "The Fall Guy."
What Netflix buying The Rock’s $130 million heist movie, ‘Red Notice,’ says about its evolving movie strategy
Netflix needs a movie like "Red Notice" if it’s going to compete with the likes of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus.
Here are other stories from media, tech, and advertising you should check out:
- Facebook is testing more ads in shorter Watch clips, and it shows how its video strategy is a work in progress
- Facebook’s secret weapon in digital advertising isn’t what you think, according to a new report
- IBM takes on Salesforce and others, Apple News Plus changes, and Chipotle stops apologizing