Facebook is taking its video advertising game to the next level. The social media site has partnered with seven content producers including Vice Media and Electus Digital’s CollegeHumor to bring marketers a branded video content solution called Anthology.
In a company blog post, Facebook explained how Anthology, along with Facebook’s internal strategy team the Creative Shop, will pair brands with video publishers so they can work together to create custom marketing campaigns which meet the brands’ advertising goals. (This is a similar idea to Condé Nast’s 23 Stories branded content studio.)
Along with Vice and CollegeHumor, Facebook’s official Anthology network partners are Funny or Die, Oh My Disney, Tastemade, The Onion, and Vox Media. Facebook revealed the Anthology initiative at its “Openbook” private presentation for advertising executives and agencies in New York on April 22, 2015.
“While brands are free to work with any content producer on their Facebook advertising campaigns, Anthology publishers are Facebook Marketing Partners,” Facebook wrote in the blog post. “This means that in addition to offering creative and production services, each is trained on how to get the most out of the Facebook platform to drive business results.”
Tastemade co-founder Steven Kydd told Variety Anthology “allows for rich creative development, personalization at scale, and unprecedented measurement of video ads.” But not all ad executives were impressed with the new advertising solution. One unidentified source told Variety, “[Facebook] presented their approach as if it were some amazing reveal of how they are partnering. But it’s just what every smart content creator has been using their data to do for a while.”
Nevertheless, Facebook’s Anthology project could result in high profits for many brand advertisers who choose to team up with the social site. Facebook currently receives four billion daily video views, more than enough opportunity for brands to spread their messages and reach a huge audience already engaged with online video.