Jennifer Wehrmaker, senior manager of eBay’s social business unit had some mild words of criticism for Facebook when she talked to AdExchanger recently. It’s difficult to get creative within Facebook, she said. Lack of creative options in the format of Facebook ads is a longtime bugbear among advertisers.
Wehrmaker’s words will be taken seriously by Facebook global sales chief Carolyn Everson — EBay is one of Facebook’s biggest advertisers, according to our ranking of social network clients.
On the subject of FBX (Facebook’s ad exchange which allows advertisers to serve ads inside Facebook using cookie tracking data obtained from sites outside Facebook), Wehrmaker said:
If she has a criticism of Facebook Exchange, it would be the restrictions on serving dynamic creative. “For eBay dynamic creative is the real win. We have dynamic inventory and millions of [products] across categories.” Because of Facebook’s restrictive creative upload requirements, that level of creative automation is simply not possible. Asked for a piece of advice for marketers dabbling in FBX, Wehrmaker said, “You have to be thoughtful about measurement and creative, but it’s not a big stretch from what we’ve already been doing in the ad exchange space.
For a long time, advertisers wanting to serve imagery inside Facebook have been limited to those tiny boxes on the right hand side of the news feed, or even tinier boxes inside “sponsored stories” and “like ads” that sit inside users’ news feeds. Only the logout page offers a large-ish creative palette for advertisers who really want to interrupt users with big images. (Notoriously, Facebook users tend not to actually logout of their accounts when ending a session.)
Internally, Facebook has trained its creative guns on branded Facebook pages for companies. It has also used Facebook Studio to encourage advertisers to get crazy within its formats. But the one thing that Facebook has always prevented advertisers from having — but that advertisers most want — is big, bold banners that can take over an entire page.
For now, Facebook’s revenues are growing steadily enough that it can resist calls for standard banner sizes and homepage takeovers. But when the sales engine starts to falter, the voices of clients like Ebay’s Wehrmaker may become harder to resist.