Agencies Express Hope and Concern for ‘Facebook Studio’

facebookstudioAgencies are having slightly different reactions to Facebook Studio, the online community for case studies, creative samples, and awards launched by the social media giant yesterday. While several practitioners who spoke with ClickZ sang the new Facebook platform’s praises, Razorfish word of mouth director Cristina Lawrence wasn’t quite ready to join the “Kumbaya” chorus.

“Whereas I think we definitely need to promote our great work in the social space and share our thinking with the community at large, we still need to be mindful of our intellectual capital,” Lawrence said. “How is [Facebook] going to leverage this collective agency thinking?”

Lawrence’s question was posed to Elisabeth Diana, Facebook spokesperson, who replied via email: “I think that agencies are the ones who can convey upon brands innovative and savvy social marketing practices. This, in turn, creates an environment where people can connect with brands in a more personalized, connected and engaging way, which we think is better for everyone.”

Matt O’Rourke, interactive group creative director for Crispin Porter + Bogusky, sounded relieved that more case studies and peer-to-peer sharing would become available for Facebook advertising. Because the Palo Alto, CA-based social site is “tight-fisted” on metrics such as impressions, O’Rourke said, data-based evidence needed to encourage brands to sign off on paid Facebook efforts sometimes hasn’t been there.

“We’ve always been sort of working in a vacuum,” he said. “Before if we wanted to try something new on Facebook, we kind of had to throw it into the abyss and hope it didn’t violate any policy – or you had to hunt down a random [Facebook] sales guy who was overwhelmed. Now we have a place where we can all have an open conversation and see what other people have tried.”

O’Rourke also characterized Facebook Studio – found under the URL, – as “a good first step.”

Ilana Gamza, a digital strategist at SapientNitro, concurred. “This move by Facebook should be regarded as a gateway, and I would urge marketers to look at this opportunity as an open invitation to all social media platforms, not just Facebook,” she said. “Open collaboration brings bigger, more innovative ideas, and fosters further creativity, which can only be positive for ad agencies and ultimately, their clients.”

While Facebook Studio seems ripe for agencies to show off Facebook-based efforts, other digital and offline channels could also enter the mix. For instance, New York-based agency KBS+P has already posted a BMW case study involving a Super Bowl TV spot, YouTube, and Facebook.

Gamza from SapientNitro added, “I would love to see integrated campaigns that Facebook helped to enhance in addition to standalone Facebook campaigns, apps, etc. to compare how integrated, multiplatform campaigns can perform even better.”

Chandos Erwin, managing director of digital agency Oatmeal Beach, suggested that Facebook Studio will make it easier to keep track of what competitors have learned. “Sometimes, by the time you hear about an effective campaign, it has finished and some of the innovative features are no longer active,” he said. “Now you can find them all in one easy-to-search location.”

CP+B’s O’Rourke said the public forum’s content should represent the industry’s best. “No one is going to put up anything that wasn’t a wild success,” he said,” because no one wants to say they shit the bed in front of their clients.”

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