On the 23rd of October Civolution announced a partnership with Optimal to enable brands to purchase
Facebook ads from the FBX in synchronization with TV commercials. This development comes as Facebook
and Twitter are seen to be vying for superiority as the destination of choice for audiences looking to talk
about their favorite TV shows, whilst also seeking to maximize revenues from advertising related to TV. To
date Twitter has had a big advantage in that it offers an ad targeting option that can help brands reach the
same viewer twice, firstly on TV, but also on Twitter.
The technology that is powering this service is Civolution’s
ad-triggering service, SyncNow, which has been integrated
with Optimal’s Open Signals platform.
SyncNow is an ACR (automatic content recognition) solution
which is linked to one of the largest commercials databases
in the world. Open Signals enables advertisers to synchronize
their Facebook advertising campaigns with multiple outside
data feeds such as offline revenue, inventory levels, weather conditions or coupon redemptions. Brands can
then optimize their ads in real-time based on metrics that are affecting actual business performance. The
partnership enables brands to select which television ads they would like to synchronize with (whether it be
their own or competitors) in real-time to a Facebook ad campaign.
Following the announcement of this new product brands will now be able to buy ads that will reach people
on the social network at the same time as their ad is showing on television. For brands concerned about the
challenge that companion devices pose to viewer attention of both TV programming in advertisements, the
announcement of this product is significant. To re-connect with those audiences who find themselves
focusing more and more on their 2nd screen during commercial breaks, TV synced advertising on these
devices provides a tangible opportunity to yield higher engagement levels and greater return on total ad
At this stage this approach cannot be considered as refined as the one available on Twitter because no
Facebook data is integrated and therefore there is no definitive evidence that users are actually talking
about a show. Nevertheless for the time being, reaching someone who is potentially watching TV but not
fully engaged is still an appealing proposition and this is a situation that Facebook is likely to be monitoring
closely in terms of shaping their evolving ad suite offering.
From the initial results published, the benefits for brands of supplementing programmatic buying with TV
content identification are evident. The pilot program of this targeting methodology found that where
Facebook News Feed ads were synced in real-time to TV broadcast spots, they experienced over 60% lift in
CTR, whilst ads synced to competitor ads saw over 35% lift in CTR when compared with a control group. This
approach could in the near future prove to be the go-to tactic for deploying high value tactical Facebook
buys around contextually relevant TV content.