Are Facebook Video Ads Comparable To TV?

The advertising world has been buzzing around recent news that Facebook will likely be launching video ads this fall.  There are a few items that have sparked the most conversation, but none more than the $2.5 million price tag for a daylong run of 15 second video spots integrated into the newsfeed. That cost and the way Facebook is packaging the offering looks more like a major TV buy (think Superbowl) than anything found in the digital arena. In fact, it seems that Facebook is embracing the comparison to primetime and has even collaborated with Nielsen to release a FB-commissioned study to compare reach of Facebook to TV. According to the report Facebook has reach that is comparable or even greater than the four TV broadcast networks during the day. For example, the 25-34 age segment on Facebook has an incremental 41% reach to the networks during the day.

That said, Facebook’s ad formats will vary dramatically from TV and even most online video. They will appear within news feeds, muted and can expand and activate audio when clicked (in the same fashion as Instagram Video). Targeting also varies significantly from TV as FB video will be able to target by age and gender. Based on initial numbers, Facebook video generates greater engagement than any other form of post, but will that translate to paid media?