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Mars, Kraft, and Other CPG Brands Dominate Social Ads

  |  October 6, 2011   |  Comments

New data from comScore shows who’s running ads driving users to Facebook, and who's advertising on social sites.

skittles-socialCPG brands dig the like button. According to comScore, Mars, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee and other CPG giants are incorporating links to Facebook, like buttons, and other social sharing elements in their display ads. Mars, Kraft, and Energizer top the August 2011 chart, which shows the share of advertisers' total display impressions that incorporate social capabilities or are intended to push users to their social pages.

ComScore is tracking Facebook display ad impressions in the hopes of helping advertisers leverage the magnifying effect social media can have on their display campaigns.

The company also looks at a variety of social media sites including Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Tagged, and DeviantArt to determine what percentage of impressions that advertisers run show up on those sites. More than 92 percent of the display ads appearing on such social sites appeared on Facebook, according to comScore.

According to Andrew Lipsman, VP, industry analysis at comScore, the measurement company has "cracked the code" on tracking Facebook ads and related data in a more robust way than it was able to before.

Top Social Display Advertisers Ranked by Number of Socially-Enabled Ads, August 2011
Advertiser Social Display Ad Impressions (000) Social Ad Share of Total Advertiser Impressions
Mars Incorporated 297,239 29.5%
Kraft Foods Inc. 178,958 32.1%
Energizer Holdings, Inc. 101,403 33.4%
General Motors Corporation 96,799 4.3%
Procter & Gamble Co. 92,126 3.7%

Source: comScore Ad Metrix Social

According to the firm, nearly 80 percent of display ads served up for yogurt maker Groupe Danone in August incorporated a social feature. And around 30 percent of display ads for Mars brands like Skittles or M&M's had a social component. Typically, that means they include a Facebook like button or a link to the brand's Facebook or Twitter page, said Lipsman.

An ad for Skittles Blenders, for example, includes the Facebook logo with the text, "Watch the TV Spot." An Activia French Yogurt ad from Danone touts "Free Yogurt," alongside the Facebook logo. Lipsman called the tactic a "land grab" by CPG brands looking to build their social media followings.


Mars ran the most socially-enabled display ad impressions in August, according to comScore - around 297 million. Kraft Foods came in second with around 179 million socialized impressions, 32 percent of the food company's total display impressions.

ComScore found that 30 percent of the display ads run by AT&T landed on social sites in August, just a notch up from the 29.5 percent of total Internet display ads that appeared on such sites. In all, 3.9 billion AT&T display ads were served on social sites in August, according to the researcher. Another ubiquitous online advertiser, credit report service Experian, ran 1.7 billion ads on social sites, around 23 percent of its display impressions in August.

The third most prolific social display advertiser, IAC, owner of Ask.com, Dictionary.com, and several other sites, had the largest share of display ads land on social sites among the top ten social advertisers: 39 percent.

Advertisers' Share of Social Display on Facebook
Advertiser Facebook as % of Social Display Ad Impressions
AT&T 85.7%
Experian Interactive 86.1%
IAC InterActiveCorp 89.3%
Google 76%
Netflix 91.1%

Source: comScore Ad Metrix Social

At least 76 percent of all the impressions run by the top ten advertisers by social display impressions turned up on Facebook, according to comScore, suggesting that advertisers are investing relatively heavily in direct buys on Facebook rather than focusing their social ad spending on ad networks.

ComScore is now offering ad clients several new metrics aimed at measuring social media ads and socially-enabled display, said Lipsman. "More than anything this is a competitive intelligence tool."

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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