LAS VEGAS — These days, consumers recognize silent auto-play is becoming a standard for videos delivered in feeds. But advertisers are still trying to find the true value in a format that nobody clicked and nobody heard.

Ad holding group WPP’s chief Sir Martin Sorrell recently said Facebook, the biggest exponent of the format, “has a lot of work to do” to demonstrate effectiveness, saying it was “ludicrous” to declare such videos watched after only three seconds.

Now, as part of the solution, Facebook is trying to help agencies think differently about how to use the ads better.

“We believe this is a problem worth solving,” Facebook global agency development director Patrick Harris tells Beet.TV in this video interview at the International CES show, where Facebook gave a presentation guiding advertisers to better use of the ads.

“We don’t have all the answers. That’s what we’ve been seeking to get this week in working with our agency partners. How do you build long-term brand equity in a mobile world with sound-off and auto-play?”

Harris’ answer doesn’t appear to be rejigging the measurement criteria or sound-off nature of auto-playing video ads themselves – he suggests that comes with the new mobile territory. But Facebook is giving advertisers guidance and making some tweaks to make better creative use of the format. Amongst them:

  • “Teaching them… instead of putting that celebrity at the end of the 30 seconds, put them in the first three seconds.”
  • “We’re starting to turn on things like captions. Rather than figure out what people are saying in the commercial (with sound off), could you have subtitles and captions … that allow you to figure out what’s going on contextually?”

“The way you build brand equity in mobile is going to be very different from the way you did in TV.”

Facebook reached an impressive eight billion daily video views in November, double the rate seen in April.

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