Facebook, MediaMind Enable 'Like' Button In Ads Across Web by Laurie Sullivan, Monday, October 18, 2010, 9:00 AM
The Facebook "Like" button inserted in ad units began running across display networks and publisher sites on Saturday could become a new metric for advertisers to measure the success of advertising campaigns. Mountain Dew became one of the first to stick the social signal in ads. Facebook provides the pipeline, and MediaMind the technology to make it happen, supporting the trend by brands to bring social media to consumers across the Web.
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The ads are not limited to the approximate 300-by-250 Mountain Dew display ads running across a variety of publisher sites, explains a source close to the agreement. Through Facebook's API, it only took one week to design the integration and get the tool up and running in the ad.
Consumers clicking on the "Like" button in the ad are not redirected from the publisher's site, but rather asked to sign into their Facebook account and provide permission to connect the ad with their Facebook page. The action of the click on the like button triggers a "like" on the consumer's Facebook wall through an API data feed.
The first integration of the "Like" button in online ads signals the continuation of Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg's mission to make the Web and advertising social, but the start of a new metric to measure ad conversions on the Web. Not only do advertisers gain impressions and click-throughs for display ads, but some will gain new Facebook Fans to their community.
As more advertisers build in the Facebook "like" button into ads, videos and other online through Google TV and Apple TV, as well as offline content such as billboards and print ads connected through QR codes or Google Goggles, the social signal will increase in value, driving up the valuation of Facebook and the demand for the tool.
Brand marketers began shifting ad budgets to Facebook earlier this year to try and earn "Like" against brands, which would give them a measurement tool to determine demand and loyalty. Inserting the "Like" function in expandable ad units or video ads gives consumers a new experience and will likely become another reason for advertisers to shift ad dollars from television to online by repurposing TV ads.
For example, eMarketer points to research released in September by Dynamic Logic that found online ad awareness got a bigger lift from repurposed video ads than made-for-Web video. Purchase intent became higher for made-for-Web ads among those ages 18 to 34 but flat among the older age groups. Adding the Facebook "Like" button to ads could contribute another metric to support allocation of advertising budgets.
Gotta love it when everyone promotes your product for you - and i'm sure it'll actually work fairly well for advertisers - the Facebook like adds credibility to their ad units and helps their cause of building their opt-in list on Facebook. This all reminds me so much of email marketing and direct mail - brands building up audiences to talk to - the question will be: can they engage those audiences and will it lead to purchases?