- Pinterest announced via blog post a new ad format, called Promoted Carousel, which allows advertisers to use up to five images within one ad to tell stories on the platform. Promoted Carousel is available for all business accounts, with ads appearing the home feed, related pins or search. The ads look like Promoted Pins with dots below the image, allowing users to swipe through or tap an image to see the website. Each card, or image, can feature a different image, title, description and landing page.
- Covergirl used Promoted Carousel to showcase each shade of its new TruBlend foundation and saw a 3.8-point lift in brand awareness and 6.1-point lift in awareness. DSW improved ad performance by 20% using the format for a back-to-school promotion. Everlane increased engagement by more than 3x using a Carousel campaign for its authentic stretch jeans. Cheerios’ kindness-focused Carousel campaign led to an 11.4-point ad awareness lift and 8.6-point message association lift. REI and Toyota are also using the format.
- In other news, Pinterest on Monday named its first CMO, Andrea Mallard, who was previously CMO at Gap Inc.'s Athleta brand, according to Fortune. The move comes as Pinterest continues to grow and prepares for an initial public offering next year.
Pinterest is playing catch up with Carousel ads, a format that Facebook introduced several years and which has proven popular on a number of platforms, including LInkedIn and Yahoo, for how it enhances the shopping experience on mobile by letting users easily swipe through a selection of images. Despite being late to the game with the Carousel format, it could be particularly well-suited for Pinterest, which continues to gain users — it topped 250 million users in September — and attract advertisers because of the platform's focus on inspiration and discovery.
Pinterest’s new Promoted Carousel ads give marketers a new opportunity to tell their brand stories through a set of images and help platform users gain a better understanding of the products. The ads allow marketers to reach users with immersive experiences, which, as several brands have discovered, could help boost brand awareness, traffic and conversions, and drive multiple purchases.
The timing of Pinterest's release of a new ad format is key, as the holiday shopping season is kicking off. Mobile is projected to play a bigger role in holiday shopping this year than in past years, with millennials and Gen Zers driving the trend. Among all consumers shopping digitally, 39% say they would use “buy buttons” and 25% say they will use shoppable photos on their smartphones, according to PwC research cited by eMarketer. Millennials and Gen Z were more likely to use “buy buttons,” at 57% and 56%, respectively, and 42% of millennials and 34% of Gen Z were planning to use shoppable photos during the holidays.
The Carousel ads are part of Pinterest’s efforts to boost shopping on its platform, as it competes with other platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram, which offer a variety of shoppable experiences. Pinterest introduced several updates last month aimed at improving the shopper experience on the platform, including Product Pins, which show up-to-date pricing and inventory information with direct links to a checkout page on a retailer’s site. Other new features include a shopping recommendation section and a shortcut for iOS users to shop directly from their feeds. The updated features increased clicks on products to retail sites by 40%.