ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Bacardi spikes millennial engagement with full-screen, immersive ads on Facebook

Rum brand Bacardi is pouring a healthy dose of mobile into its latest millennial-centric campaign by leveraging Facebook?s new immersive canvas advertising unit, which opens up a full-screen smartphone experience for users who click on an ad.

Bacardi?s multi-channel campaign seeks to target adventure enthusiasts and millennials via a new television spot as well as a strong social media advertising push, in a bid to more strongly connect with consumers. The difficulty of effectively targeting age-appropriate fans on mobile makes social media an ideal marketing channel for alcohol brands to leverage, especially as Facebook rolls out a suite of new mobile-friendly ad units with staying power for users? short attention spans.

?Connecting with Bacardi?s consumers? needs across all platforms, through authentic and meaningful communication was a top priority for us,? said Zara Mirza, head of creative excellence at Bacardi, London. ?Bacardi wanted a shift-change in how we approach our marketing to create better dialogue with our consumers.

?We have to evolve our content and identify different passion platforms so that Bacardi can be part of their lifestyle and remain relevant in this ever-changing social world.?

Testing new channels
Bacardi will be the premier alcohol marketer to tap Facebook?s immersive canvas content unit, which captures brand stories and rolls them out to targeted demographics via an interactive experience. The unit takes over a user?s mobile screen after he or she clicks on the ad from the newsfeed.

After it expands, the ad transforms into browsable mini-site. Consumers can scroll through the available products and instantly head to the retailer?s branded site to make a purchase.

The immersive canvas ensures that consumers will not quickly glance away after clicking on the ad. Users on the verge of purchasing an item may be swayed to do so if they happen to stumble across a canvas ad from a favored brand.

 ?The unit does aim to change the post-click experience,? said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York. ?Marketers using the ad unit should pay particular attention the value the ad unit brings to the post-click experience.

?Instead of measuring the increase in the click-through rate, they should measure metrics such as the total time spent consumers spent in the post-click experience, the amount of content consumed in the post-click experience, and any changes in the conversion rate or LTV.?

Bacardi is also foraying into mobile-optimized video with a new YouTube spot that focuses on millennials searching for an adventure.

?The ad will be a 30-second spot capturing the energy of a millennial?s world where a group of friends host an amazing, traveling house party,? Bacardi?s Ms. Mirza said. ?Shot with a hand-held camera, the viewer is drawn in to feel like they are part of the story, experiencing the energy of this cross-country journey.

?The goal was to make the ad inviting and engaging, similar to a movie trailer format that invites consumers into the brand world. Since this will likely be seen in mobile environments, we are primarily trying to draw people in to engage more with the brand.?

Consumers will be able to view the video ad on a slew of cable and late night entertainment shows, in addition to digital platforms such as Pandora, Hulu and ESPN.

Targeting the right audience
Facebook?s revitalized push for interactive mobile ad experiences and social commerce has prompted a plethora of major brands to tap its platform for marketing efforts, especially as the social network is able to segment audiences by age demographics.

With early results for Facebook?s carousel ads showing 30 to 50 percent lower cost-per-conversion, Procter & Gamble bet on the ads this past July to drive trial for its latest product innovation ? Febreze with Tide Original Scent ? by linking to on the last panel (see story).

Bacardi will likely see enhanced brand awareness following the rollout of the immersive canvas ad, particularly among millennials seeking their next drink of choice to fuel an adventure.

?One of the biggest hurdles for promoters of alcohol is that they are limited regarding the places they could advertise,? Ping Mobile?s Ms. Lowy said. ?They cannot promote alcohol consumption to underage consumers; even their own Web site has an age verification checkpoint prior to entry.

?Social media sites such as Facebook present an ideal place for alcohol brands to promote their products,? she said. ?Facebook?s registration requires consumers to disclose their age.

?Ads on Facebook can therefore be targeted to consumers who are over 21.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York