3 Common Objections to Facebook Video Ads (and Why They’re Wrong)

Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President of Facebook EMEA was recently asked “where will Facebook be within five years in terms of mobile and in terms of video?” She replied, “definitely mobile and probably all video… yes .” 

You may have already noticed that your Facebook feed is heavily populated by videos auto-playing as you scroll down. Whether this is happening naturally or whether Facebook’s algorithm is set to favour videos doesn’t really matter, Facebook holds all the cards.

Regardless of if you like it or not, video will be central to social media in the very near future and if you’re not part of it you may miss out on a potential audience of 1.71 billion active users on Facebook alone.

Usually, a business has what seems like reasonable reasons for not getting involved, but these are often based on a misunderstanding or a result of overcomplicating things. Below I’ve tackled three of the most common objections.

1) “Making a video and running the campaign is too expensive”

If you’ve embarked upon any DIY in the last few years, chances are that you looked online and watched a video for help. The hits on some DIY videos go into the millions, not because they’re produced like a 90s hip hop video, but because they deliver exactly what the viewer needs.

You’ll recognise the internal gratitude and affection you feel for the handyman as he informs you that rawlplugs can be used to attach a 42” TV to a stud wall. Cost doesn’t determine effectiveness and if you’re clear and creative, a video can be a very engaging tool, as well as a cheap one.

We recently ran a simple piece to camera video campaign, which talked about the upcoming changes to Travel and Subsistence legislation for contractors. It wouldn’t be put in the category of ‘Thriller’, but it still generated a ton of engagement because it was targeted at the right people, who found it really useful.

This campaign generated over 2,700 views to at least 75% of the video and led to over 2,800 clicks through to site. The total engine spend for this was £2700, which along with the ad likes, page likes and comments amounted to around 40p per action.

2) “We’re not creative and making a video is too time consuming”

As in the first point, the message is key, but the delivery will maximise its effectiveness. Think about what would work for the viewer and produce that as simply and clearly as possible.

As marketers, we think we know people, but we are guilty of overthinking. Our knowledge may well help us to truly define an audience and relay perfectly suited content designed to stir and engage, but—if we’re completely honest—there’s a simple mechanism which defeats most others. We’re unwilling to admit it, but animals can and will sell anything.

But don’t just take it from me. Let me loosely quote a talk by Rory Sutherland, Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne, to justify my simplistic recommendation. “One of the things in advertising is that there are some quite banal things that no one says, ok, because they seem banal. And you’ve got to be reasonably senior to say them because, otherwise, everyone just thinks you’re an idiot and ignores you.”

“So one of the things is that, TV ads with animals in are always very successful. People like animals. They like animals in a weird way, more than they like other people. No one else would be allowed to say this. Now why no brief says this…is self-aggrandisement.” So there you go. Get a bandana, put your brand name on it and wrap it round your dog’s ears.

This sounds flippant, but if I say meerkats or drumming Gorilla, you know exactly what and who I’m talking about. I suppose I’m suggesting that creativity comes in many forms.

3) “We’re B2B not B2C. Our audience doesn’t live on or care for FB”

Plenty of B2B companies use Facebook. 33 million people or, to put it another way, every other person in the UK is on Facebook. You’re trying to attract the attention of people and therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C, it just means you have to be different.

I’m paraphrasing slightly (again), but it’s like Dave Trott says, “we started off painting on walls, then it changed and we went into fresco and oil painting, then we discovered photography, then we discovered TV, then we discovered digital, social media, then we’re soon going to discover whatever the next thing is that’s going to kill all other media. It keeps changing, but do you notice one thing that isn’t changing, that’s never changed? That’s the punter, that’s the media.”

You may have to be smarter with how ads are put across, but you can be certain that your audience is on Facebook.


The biggest social media platform in the world is championing a change. It is also offering staggering targeting and data options for an exceptionally cheap price. So if any of the above reasons sounds like you or not, it’s worth examining why you’re not utilising social video.

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