Facebook ups its creative creds, eyes awards

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 1 December 2015

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Facebook wants to stop being a “creative after-thought” for agencies and is pushing its creative credentials with the aim of winning awards in the advertising space next year. In Australia, the social media behemoth is upping its game by bolstering talent and hiring a number of adland's own.

Chief among the new hires is former DDB Melbourne planning director, Tom Hyde, who has joined Facebook as its creative agency partner.

Speaking to AdNews, Facebook head of agency sales, Ellie Rogers, said the platform has seen a great deal of success in the last two years in getting closer to media agencies and persuading them to view Facebook as a credible media channel.

Now, according to Rogers, Facebook wants to replicate that success with creative agencies.

“We've done some incredible work with creative agencies,” she said. “But what we haven’t done before is sit down at board level with creative agencies and ask 'how do we make Facebook-first campaigns?’ rather than Facebook being a creative

The social media giant has faced skepticsm from agencies in the past over the role it plays and the balance of power between agency and client relationships.

Hyde's newly created role is based in Melbourne – an area of focus for Facebook next year – and will see him liaise with creative agencies to move Facebook further up the consideration chain when it comes to campaign execution.

But Facebook also has its eyes on boosting its own creative credentials, namely when it comes to the award arena.

“Our strategy will always be about focusing on the strategy first and getting some incredible work and we're really focused on winning some awards next year in the creative space, particularly Cannes,” Rogers revealed.

“And then using those to scale across the rest of the creative agency as well.”

Facebook has an in-house agency called Creative Shop which Rogers said acts as a creative consultancy at an account level. As part of its creative push, it has also hired former Clemenger BBDO Sydney creative director, Rebecca Carrasco, to head up that offering.

In addition, Dina Bailey, former agency lead at Google, who previously worked for PHD, OMD and Carat, has joined the platform as its agency relationship manager.

Rogers said that Facebook is now at a point of maturity with its product set to position it as a “creative canvas” for agencies.

"We're really excited to push that to the edge, and to do that we need to have a grown-up, mature relationship with agencies at C-suite,” Rogers said.

“Quite honestly, we’re just at the beginning of that.”

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