On Facebook, Nestlé finds optimizing a TV ad for mobile pays off

Coffee Creamer brand scored a 10% increase in recall by making a few small creative changes

As brands try to capitalize on shifting to mobile, they are constantly seeking ways to better engage consumers on that platform. When Facebook released its Q1 profits on Wednesday, the company said people are creating and sharing three times more video on the network than last year, and videos with captions increase view time by 12%.

Nestlé partnered with Facebook to find out whether an untouched TV ad or one optimized for mobile would make the greater impact on Facebook. The test centered on a 15-second TV spot that the company altered to better fit the environment.

To optimize the spot for mobile, it substituted a shot of a motionless couple at the beginning of the commercial with an up-close image of the coffee creamer, with the product name and logo visible on screen. Next, Nestlé added text overlays throughout the ad so that it could be understood with and without the sound on. The ad opens with a question to capture the viewers’ curiosity: "The milk in your coffee is good. But can you say it’s blissful?" Finally, it included footage of sugar and cream.

Nestlé ran both spots and tracked their performance. As it turned out, the mobile optimized version showed a 10-point increase in ad recall and 7-point increase in product awareness, compared to only a four-point increase in ad recall for the original version, and no increase in product awareness. To keep the test clean, Nestlé controlled for spend and impressions for both ads and used Nielsen-methodology mobile polling. 

"We are encouraged by this test because this shows that advertisers who have already produced TV commercials can make simple and inexpensive changes to make those ads more effective on mobile," said Jode Lebeda, client partner at Facebook. 

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