Video Essentials

Facebook Helps Brands Succeed With Autoplay Video and No Audio

When your ad scrolls across the viewer’s screen in three seconds, is the size of a postage stamp, and has the audio off, you don’t have a lot of time to make an impression. Repurposed TV spots aren’t going to work. Facebook wants to help.

FacebookAutoplay FacebookThe social network has been busy assisting brand advertisers in enhancing their creative assets so that they attract more views online. Facebook is now part of many brands’ video marketing campaigns, but that money is wasted unless videos are tailored for Facebook distribution.

“A lot of the questions we’re trying to answer this week are how do you build long-term brand equity in a mobile world with things like sound-off and autoplay?” said Patrick Harris, Facebook’s director of global agency development, during an interview at CES. “Some of the things that we’re doing on the product-side to address this, just to make it simpler, is teaching them. If it’s a celebrity endorsement, instead of putting that celebrity at the end of the 30 seconds, how do you put them in the first 3 seconds? We’re starting to turn on things like captions, so rather than you having to figure out what the people are saying in the commercial, could you actually have subtitles and captions that are running programmatically that allow you to figure out what’s going on contextually with the message that you’re seeing, and then if you’re interested as a consumer, you can dive in really, really quickly.”

Succeeding on Facebook doesn’t mean shooting all new video. Existing assets can be modified so they do well on the platform.

“From a product development standpoint, we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for advertisers to give us assets, and for us to be able to help them, not only recut and reframe some of the stories that they’re putting into the actual ads, but also being able to do things like captions that will allow them to reach those consumers and hopefully get those consumers to engage a whole lot faster,” Harris said.

For more Facebook advice, watch the video below (used with permission from


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