Facebook Says Its Creative Accelerator Program Is Seeing Success In Emerging Markets

Facebook announced a new Creative Accelerator program earlier this year, with the aim of delivering more effective advertising in emerging markets like India and Kenya. The early results, it says, are promising.

With its massive user base, the social network’s future growth will have to come from emerging markets, so it needs to figure out how to make more ad revenue from those users.

That’s where the Creative Accelerator comes in. Through the program, Facebook’s Creative Shop works with brands and agencies to create ad campaigns tailored for specific countries and audiences.

In a blog post today, the company is sharing the results of some early campaigns. In Kenya, it ran a photo ad campaign with Coca-Cola that saw an 18 percent improvement in ad recall compared to similar campaigns. Nestle, meanwhile, ran a campaign in India, increasing brand awareness by 9 percent and purchase intent by 5 percent (again, compared to similar campaigns). And a Lifebuoy campaign in Indonesia saw a 9.4 percent increase in moms associating the soap brand with the phrase “protects effectively from germs.”

Of course, these are just individual campaigns, but they also provided an excuse to discuss the company’s strategy with Nikila Srinivasan, Facebook’s product manager of emerging markets monetization.

She said that one tactic that pays off is targeting an ad’s creative elements based on device and bandwidth. So someone with a fancier smartphone might see a video, while users with low-end smartphones (or as Facebook prefers to call them, “typical devices”) and feature phones just see an image. In another case, users in urban areas might see a different ad than users in rural areas.

“Over the past year, as we began to make an investment in engineering, in product, in sales, in creative shops in high-growth markets, something that we tried to do is go in-market and understand how people wanted to connect with brands, and how brands were connecting with people,” Srinivasan said. She added that there’s a particular focus on “what kind of visual languages people want to use when they interact with brands.”

Given the success of its initial campaigns, she said Facebook is now working to scale the Creative Accelerator program globally.