Pinterest Launches Promoted Video for Brands

Rich OrdAdvertising

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Pinterest rolls out Promoted Video, available only on mobile devices, to make them an even better marketing platform for brands. The trend toward video advertising with social media platforms and the internet in general continues with this Pinterest announcement. According to business intelligence firm L2, Marketers are projected to spend $12.82 billion on internet video advertising by 2018, which is up from $7.7 billion spent in 2015. All of the other major social platforms, Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter have already launched video ad platforms. It's about time for Pinterest to jump in, especially considering its focus on ecommerce.

Pinterest, being a very visual medium and already brand focused seems to be a perfect match for video advertising. "Over 100 million people around the world come to Pinterest every month to discover ideas to try," said Pinterest Product Manager Mike Bidgoli in a post. "One of the best tools for bringing those ideas to life is video, so it’s no surprise this format has been popular on Pinterest. In the last year alone, we’ve seen a 60% increase in videos on Pinterest featuring everything from workouts and home projects to hair & beauty tutorials. That’s why we’re excited to roll out Promoted Video."

Bidgoli noted that of the 100 million monthly Pinterest visitors, 55% use the platform to find or shop for products, according to the 2016 Internet Trends Report. Only 12% of people view other social media platforms as places for ecommerce. Pinterest clearly sees its future revenue source coming from video advertising.

Pinterest has tied Promoted Video with its Featured Pins product in order to differentiate itself from other social platforms that are focused on just views. "While other platforms primarily offer video views, we've coupled Promoted Video with featured Pins below the video," said Bidgoli. "Now the 67% of people who say videos on Pinterest inspire them to take action can experience your brand and then simply click below to do more with your products and services."

Pinterest won't auto-play their video ads in a users feed, it will first play a Cinematic Pin format that they already have to give users a silent teaser of the marketing video. Once people tap on the Pin the full video will open up and automatically start playing with sound. Businesses can run video ads as long as 5 minutes, infomercial style. It will be interesting to see if Pinterest is actually planning on the long-form video marketing concept because of its proven success on TV of driving actual sales. For instance, a person perusing cooking posts could be presented with the Copper Chef ad. Well it convert as good as it does on TV? If it does Pinterest will have discovered a marketing gold mine.

According to Bidgoli, Pinterest will charge marketers based on impressions of the preview Pin on a CPM basis and not just for after click video views. Advertisers will see both the impression numbers for their teaser gif video views, the number of clicks the teaser Pin received, the number of times their full video was viewed at least partially and breakdowns on how far people watched the video (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) and how many clicks the Featured Pin under the video received.


A Millward Brown study commissioned by Pinterest found that Old El Paso Promoted Video ads were 4x more memorable than a non-video ad. At launch, Pinterest has partnered with bareMInerals, PURINA, kate spade, Lionsgate and BEHR to proved the value of Promoted Video. "We’ve run several campaigns with Pinterest and consider video a natural evolution on how we want to connect with our Pinterest audience," said Meredith Schaffner, Marketing Manager, Old El Paso. "Our customers come to Pinterest with high intent and the ability to show a recipe and our products through video is a unique opportunity to drive higher performance."

Video Advertising Trend Toward Social

At Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit in London, Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at Facebook, predicted that the Facebook newsfeed will be all video in 5 years. "It will definitely be mobile. It will probably be all video," Mendelsohn said. "I just think if we look, we already are seeing a year on year decline in text. We're seeing a massive increase as I've said on both pictures and video. So yeah, if I was having a bet, I would say video, video, video."

During Facebook's July 2016 earning call, Facebook executives predicted their future will be video, "We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services," said Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerburg. ""Over the past six months we have been particularly focused on Live video. Live represents a new way to share what's happening in more immediate and creative ways."

2016 has been the year of not only more spending on video ads, but a movement of dollars from TV to internet video, following consumers wherever they are. In May for instance, Magna Global, which buys ads for Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Fiat and others announced at NewFront that they have agreed to buy $250 million in video ads from YouTube. But that's not the story, it's that Magna is shifting these ad dollars from its clients TV budgets.

Also at the NewFronts, YouTube announced a new way for marketers to take advantage of suddenly viral videos called Breakout Videos, which is part of Google Preferred allowing advertisers to reach the top 5% of videos created by YouTube stars. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stated, "This will allow marketers to feature their brands alongside the next big thing".

Video is also becoming big on Twitter where tweets have incredibly increased by over 50% since the start of 2016!

Rich Ord