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Instagram Is the Star of Facebook’s Renewed Interview Show
After adding new ad formats like video and carousels and opening up Instagram to all brands, Facebook wants to school marketers on the photo-sharing service.
Facebook has renewed “Pub in Pub,” the series it premiered in October 2014 that interviewed marketing and agency execs about their creative strategies. But unlike the first season that spanned Facebook and Instagram campaigns, the second season will focus solely on the photo-sharing service that Facebook bought in 2012.
Timing played a big part in the decision to focus the follow-up season on Instagram. Since the series’ first season premiered, Instagram officially introduced video ads, added the slideshow-like carousel and takeover-style marquee formats and opened up to advertisers of any size. With more brands able to buy more types of ads to get in front of Instagram’s audience of 400 million people, “we get lots of questions and interest around Instagram and how to use Instagram using APIs [that make it easier to do things like upload posts and buy ads] and videos and carousel,” said Ji Lee, creative lead at Facebook’s in-house agency Creative Shop.
But the spotlight on Instagram isn’t the only change with the show’s second season. For starters, Facebook has eschewed the TV-style 16:9 aspect ratio from the first season for an Instagram-like square video format. But more notably, this time around, the interview subjects aren’t only advertising executives but also Instagram artists. “We really wanted to focus on the most creative, most influential, most experimental creators on Instagram who understand advertising, who come from advertising backgrounds,” Mr. Lee said.
The first episode of the new season features Brock Davis, executive creative director at Space150. An advertising vet since 1995 who has created campaigns for Coca-Cola, Buffalo Wild Wings and Nike, Mr. Davis is also an Instagram celebrity. More than 173,000 people follow his account, which features photos of things like a cucumber carved into a killer whale and beard shavings shaped like a panther’s face.
In addition to Mr. Davis, the series will feature Havas Worldwide North America chief creative officer Jason Peterson and Sagmeister & Walsh partner Jessica Walsh.
“Our goal was to find creators on Instagram of as many varieties as possible in terms of how these creators use Instagram in different ways,” said Mr. Lee, noting Mr. Peterson’s use of traditional photography and Mr. Davis’s conceptual approach.
There is one common thread across the season’s interview subjects, despite their different approaches. “They all talk about the importance of experimentation and talk about the simplicity of Instagram,” Mr. Lee said.
In the episode starring Mr. Davis, the Space150 exec advocates for brands posting photos and videos to Instagram that feel “like there’s a soul to it” and recognizing how personal the app can be to its audience. In an interview with Marketing Land, he emphasized the importance of photos and videos feeling spontaneous as opposed to overwrought.
Brands “can’t go through the normal process of overthinking and testing,” Mr. Davis said. “A lot of times when that [overthinking and testing] happens, it ends up taking a little bit of the soul out of the message… I think you want people to look at it and, to some degree, feel like, ‘Oh, that’s really cool. That feels like something I could have made.’”
Each of the series’ three-minute-long episodes can be watched on the Facebook for Business site. And to make sure advertisers and their agencies are aware of the series, the company will run ads on Facebook and Instagram promoting it, said Boo Patterson, brand manager of global business marketing at Facebook.