Facebook aims for TV ad dollars with household-wide ad targeting

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When you watch TV with the people you live with, you see the same ads. Soon that may also be the case when you check Facebook.

Facebook is giving advertisers a way to target everyone who lives in the same household and to see how their ads performed at the household level, the company announced on Tuesday.

Facebook’s new household ad-targeting option appears designed to appeal to brand advertisers accustomed to trying to win over households with TV ads — which are among the advertisers that Facebook is trying to win over with its mid-roll ads and upcoming original shows.

For example, a travel resort could use the targeting option to appeal to all members of a family that hasn’t yet planned its annual summer vacation. Or companies like Amazon and Google could use it to individually lobby roommates to chip in together to buy an Amazon Echo or Google Home for their entire apartment.

To assemble a household audience to target, advertisers can either use a Custom Audience list — of people’s email addresses, phone numbers, ad-specific device identifiers or Facebook IDs — or create a new audience using Facebook’s standard ad-targeting options, like people’s age, gender, location and interests. Then Facebook will aim the advertiser’s ads at those people, as well as the people who live with them.

To determine if people are members of the same household, Facebook considers the relationships people declare on their Facebook profiles, whether people share the same last name, their home locations, their on-Facebook activities like check-ins and life events and where people connect to the internet, according to a Facebook spokesperson.

Facebook is also giving advertisers a better look at how their ads performed at the household level.

In addition to seeing how many households their ads reached and how often, brands will be able to see how many times those ads resulted in at least one person from a household doing more than seeing an ad, such as adding a product to their shopping cart on the brand’s site, buying or whatever other conversion event the advertiser defined. And advertisers will be able to drill down to see their campaign results broken out by household income, as well as household composition categories like family-based households, roommate-based households and households where 18- to 25-year-olds live.

About The Author

Tim Peterson, Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat’s ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar’s attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon’s ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube’s programming strategy, Facebook’s ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking’s rise; and documented digital video’s biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed’s branded video production process and Snapchat Discover’s ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands’ early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo’s and Google’s search designs and examine the NFL’s YouTube and Facebook video strategies.


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