Facebook’s management has recently adopted a new mantra: that Facebook’s audience is the equivalent of three Super Bowls every day. COO Sheryl Sandberg said it on the Q3 2012 earnings call. And vp/global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson said it at our Ignition 2012 conference in New York recently.
It turns out that this mantra is a clue to how Facebook intends to start stealing the advertising dollars that currently go to television. Facebook has made three recent moves that all point to an attack on the ad dollars that previously went to TV:
Facebook is now the second biggest server of online video, behind YouTube. Although Facebook is a distant second to YouTube, that’s still huge progress. Facebook now shows more video than Yahoo!, Vevo, Microsoft, AOL and everyone else.
Facebook has a partnership with Nielsen, to develop “Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings” (OCR), which measure the audience for Facebook ad campaigns in a similar way to how Nielsen measures TV audiences, by reach and frequency. The result is that it is now a lot easier for big advertisers to compare their TV ROI with their Facebook ROI.
Facebook has a partnership with Datalogix, a consumer data company. It allows advertisers — particularly big packaged goods companies like Procter & Gamble and Unilever — to target their own customers with ads inside Facebook, and to compare those campaigns against control groups that did not see them, and thus calculate exactly how many sales any Facebook campaign created.