Twitter requires people to click to play them whileFacebook's play automatically. So what are the pros and cons of each and which one is likely to be the most successful?
So the question is: which is better? The answer really depends on:
1) How you intend to measure the performance of the ad?
2) What you want people to do?
3) How you want to pay for ads?
Auto play, for instance, works well for branding – a bit like TV ads – so it appeals to FMCG brands who want to remain front-of-mind rather than having to see high engagement levels, Reckitt Benckiser being a prime example of one choosing this method.
However, for more considered purchases involving brand story-telling, such as automotive, click-to-play is probably better as the user is actively engaged and, thus, more likely to retain the emotive storytelling and brand messaging. If you want a lot of KPIs then click-to-play is probably your weapon of choice.
In terms of buying metrics, rumours are Facebook will be selling guaranteed GRP’s – that is, if the ad doesn’t hit the advertiser’s audience they don’t need to pay.
Agencies might be willing to take the trade off on auto-play pricing vs click-to-play, if the pricing point of the former justifies the perceived wastage. As long as the agency is fully aware of what they are purchasing and the value they’re getting there’s probably room for both formats. It will be interesting to see if Twitter sticks to its guns if their ads don’t end up generating good click-rates and brands start comparing performance to Facebook’s ‘high’ viewership rates.
Whether click-to-play or auto-play, we can all agree that ads need to be engaging, targeted to reach the right viewer, and served into quality content environments to grab the consumer’s attention.