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FBVidVsYouTube

The war between YouTube and Facebook for the most popular online platform for sharing and watching videos is heating up, and Facebook may win a major victory this weekend.

With the Super Bowl upon us, everyone is gearing up for one of the greatest competitions of the year – the fight for the most watched Super Bowl ad. But, more Super Bowl ads and teaser videos are being shared online ahead of the big game, and TV ad analytics company iSpot.tv says may be the new place for watching the biggest ads of the year online.

It is a close fight, with Facebook barely pulling ahead of YouTube, but it is a big win for the company either way. YouTube dominated online Super Bowl ads last year, but Facebook has pushed their video platform heavily over the year and seen massive increases in both views and shares.

Source: Marketing Land

Source: Marketing Land

According to iSpot.tv’s data counting video views through Tuesday, February 2, approximately 75 million super bowl ads videos have been viewed on Facebook, compared to 74.9 million on YouTube. As the published report on Marketing Land shows, the numbers are neck-and-neck. But, it is a huge change from last year where YouTube received 87.6 million to Facebook’s 45.5 million.

In most cases, an argument can be made to explain the discrepancy. Facebook counts video views when a user watches for just three seconds, but YouTube doesn’t count until “around” 30 seconds in. However, iSpot.tv says it uses a three-second standard for counting views on both platforms.

facbook-advertisingThe Super Bowl is quite possibly the biggest single day for advertisers. There aren’t many other times you’ll hear anyone proclaim they are watching something “just for the commercials.” But, it has always been difficult for online marketers to get into the mix. That all might be changing as Facebook has announced a new tool to help online advertisers target people interested in the “Big Game.”

The “Big Game” targeting segment allows advertisers to reach people specifically based on real-time online discussions related to the Super Bowl.

According to the announcement, the segment will go much further than simply targeting football fans. The “Big Game” segment will also include those liking, commenting, and sharing content related to party planning, recipes, or even flatscreen TV purchases in the days leading up to XLIX.

The targeting tool is also designed to be updated frequently, so that ads will be directed based on up-to-date information.

The new tool is a change of strategy for Facebook, who used interests and liked pages to target ads last year.

According to the social media platform, combining ads with live sporting events is a highly effective strategy for reaching specific targeted demographics. For example, it cites a cross-platform Nielsen study that analyzed at a Microsoft commercial that was shown during the 2014 Super Bowl and found Microsoft was able to reach 35% of persons 18 to 49 in the United States during a four-day run of the TV spot.

Using Facebook ads during this campaign allowed Microsoft to extend that reach to 57% of the national target of people 18-49. Among the younger 21 to 24-year-old audience, Microsoft more than doubled its reach, extending its TV reach of 24% to a combined TV-plus-Facebook reach of 53%.3.

The new targeting segment is available starting today for all advertisers. It can be found in the Facebook ads interface within the “Behaviors” section, under the “Seasonal and Events” category.