With Facebook's roll-out of Instant Articles this year, brands and publishers alike have found new opportunities for posting branded content on Facebook. In support of this, Facebook announced plans at Cannes Lions for immersive mobile ads that could tell a story.
The ads take advantage of recent calls for vertical video and image capability. When users click on an ad on Facebook on their smartphone, they are taken to an immersive slideshow of images.
This video demonstrates how Michael Kors first did it. Users can scroll back and forth (up and down) between images, rotate a product using a slider on screen, and watch animated text. In short, these ads give brands an opportunity to build their own small websites within Facebook.
So, now that these ads have been available for a couple months, who's doing what? Let's look at three brands who are doing cool things with Facebook's immersive ads.
This recent campaign by Wendy's shows off some of the fun brands can have with these immersive ads. Using interactive gifs and images, Wendy's takes the customer through every ingredient in their signature burger. There's a gif of cheese melting alluringly over a couple of burger patties, and some animated ketchup swizzles.
Bacardi recently launched a campaign called "The Truck." Specifically geared toward millennials, it's rooted in a short film with an indie-friendly feel that seeks to connect Bacardi with house parties. (The truck - a house on wheels - picks up person after person to join the party on-the-go). The campaign represents a clever attempt by a brand to match the medium with the message: to create a campaign for millennials that's trying to reach them where they are: on their phones.
Mr Porter, an upscale online menswear company, was also among the first brands to test immersive ads on Facebook. Their interactive spot includes quick, beautiful video snapshots of sport at its most elegant. Miniature slideshows constitute lookbooks where customers can see what sneakers and apparel they suggest for running, etc.
Click here to see the video demo.
To me, even though close-up, textured photos of meat patties are not exactly appealing, the Wendy's campaign does the best job of using these new interactive features to tell a story. Their invitation to "taste every ingredient" is matched by the content of the ad, which allows you to browse their signature burger ingredient by ingredient -- and did succeed in making me a little hungry.