Facebook Marketing Boss Shares Three Lessons for Brands

Ad Age Digital Conference: 'Lookback' Videos Were 'One of the Most Important Drivers of Positive Sentiment,' says Gary Briggs

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Facebook Mother's Day ad focused on simple moments.
Facebook Mother's Day ad focused on simple moments.

Even a 29-year marketing vet like Gary Briggs has a few things left to learn.

Facebook's CMO, whose previous stints span Pepsi, IBM, eBay and Google, shared three things he has learned in developing the social network's brand over the last year while on stage at Ad Age's Digital conference in San Francisco.

Stories that move people speak to moments that aren't that surprising. "The simple everyday moments in our lives at certain times will be extraordinary moments," Mr. Briggs said. Over the last six months Facebook has highlighted such moments with ads running in people's news feeds that emphasize friendship.

Stories that matter to people are stories from their own lives. For Facebook's 10th anniversary earlier this year, the company created "lookback" videos for each user that take moments someone has shared on Facebook and compiles them into a personalized short film. "It became another important cultural moment for us just like the Ice Bucket Challenge a few weeks ago," Mr. Briggs said. "It became one of the most important drivers of positive sentiment."

Determine how you can make a unique contribution to big, global events. Just because a lot of people were going to talk about the World Cup on Facebook, doesn't mean they wanted to talk about it with Facebook. To insert itself into the conversation, the company created a persona called the Facebook Ref who posted real-time match updates and video commentary to his Facebook page throughout the soccer tournament. That led to 11 million video views and more than 700,000 fans. "By giving the brand a personality and using humor, it was a great combination but a unique contribution around a public, shared event," Mr. Briggs said.

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