Advertisers felt like they got good at Facebook some time ago. But, at the world’s largest ad agency holding group, most of that expertise was concentrated amongst the buyers of ad space.

That’s why WPP saw the need to tool-up Facebook savvy amongst the people actually tasked with creating ads for that inventory.

Together with Facebook, the group created a Creative Ambassador Program, designed at injecting best practice in the creation of modern mobile and video ads for Facebook in to the agencies that actually make them.

“We already had a really deep, broad relationship with Facebook,” says WPP’s chief digital officer Scott Spirit in this video interview with Beet.TV. “But it was primarily based in our media agencies (GroupM)

“We felt that there was a lot of innovation in media, but the creative and digital agencies had been a little bit left behind. We were slightly concerned that our creative agencies weren’t really aware of the full capabilities that Facebook had. So we put together this program to really address that.

“We decided we were going to really fully commit to this and get all our agencies involved. I think it’s the first time that Facebook’s worked at a holding group level to really roll something out on a global basis”

The ambassadors program has already touched down in APAC, with WPP sending creative directors, planning directors, copywriters and client leaders from WPP agencies across Asia for a two-day education session.

They heard how Facebook’s Carousel, Slideshow, Canvas, 360 and Live products can be used to create mobile-first ad experiences. And they worked to develop example campaigns using the skills they learned.

Making ads that fit the new medium is important because, for a long time, many marketers have simply squeezed assets from a legacy medium in to the new box. “Shovelware” has always carried negative connotations amongst practitioners – but, to consumers, it means the difference between watching a quick ad built for fleeting mobile moments and sitting through a frustrating 30-second ad that originated on their TV screen.

“In terms of mobile video and mobile creative, that the initial wave of campaigns has really been just adapting assets that were created maybe for other means,” WPP’s Spirit admits.

“What we’re hoping to get out of this program is rather than adaptation, you have creation for the medium.

“It’s really helped our creative agencies think about what changes they need to make to their processes to be truly mobile first when it comes to creative work.

This Beet.TV series, presented by Facebook and WPP, is titled Creativity in a Mobile First World. Please find more videos from the series here.

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