Facebook announced the launch of its new ad unit, ‘Comments’. This is the eighth ad unit on offer from the social networking platform, and has been designed by Leo Burnett Chicago. The ad unit was unveiled at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on June 22. The new Comment ad lets brands spark conversations among friends by posting a video, photo, link or status and allowing people to respond.
The unit was unveiled during the Facebook seminar at Cannes – "Social By Design" – by Carolyn Everson, vice-president, global marketing solutions for Facebook. She revealed the new ad unit and related Sponsored Story.
Commenting on the collaboration, Mark Renshaw, chief innovation officer, Leo Burnett USA said, “Through the creation of this ad unit we're helping Facebook and brands tap into people's desire and behavior to participate beyond brands' Facebook Pages.”
The Comment ad unit was one of several ideas Leo Burnett submitted to Facebook for its 2010 Ad Expo, a call for submissions challenging ad agencies to create a new Facebook advertising unit that was inherently social by design. The Comment ad unit starts off as a post – video, photo, link or status – to the brand's Facebook Page and also appears as an ad unit. From that point, Facebook users can comment or respond to the Page post through the ad unit. The conversations that follow can then be surfaced as Sponsored Stories, a way to drive additional exposure and engagement around the conversations between brands and consumers.
"We applaud Leo Burnett for providing brands with a new and unique way to spark conversations among people," said Blake Chandlee, vice president of Global Agency Relations, Facebook. "With the most creative minds in the industry, agencies can and should be leading a new way of marketing that is personalized, social and engaging. We look forward to working with others to see future innovations that come from the agency community."
Facebook has given Leo Burnett and its clients two months of exclusive use of the new ad unit. Currently, Leo Burnett clients taking advantage of the Comment ad unit and Sponsored Story include, Allstate, Buick (General Motors), Hallmark, Samsung and The Ronald McDonald House Charities.