Hollywood’s Big Tradeshow Retargets Millions of Ads

Last month, the American Film Market (AFM) attracted thousands of buyers, sellers, filmmakers and other industry professionals from around the world to Santa Monica, Calif., for the annual eight-day motion picture marketplace, which drove nearly $1 billion in deals.

My agency, Encore Media Partners, had the opportunity to develop the strategy and execution plan for AFM’s attendee acquisition retargeting campaign. With our client’s permission, I am pleased to share some takeaways from this campaign, which delivered several million retargeting ad impressions, against a six-figure cookie pool, with a global footprint (more than 165 countries and territories).

AFM used both standard web retargeting and Facebook Advertising Exchange (FBX) News Feed (NF) retargeting. The FBX ad inventory delivered very high key performance indicators (KPIs), which should be noteworthy for event marketers. AFM’s FBX NF retargeting ads on average delivered a click-through rate more than eight times higher than its standard web retargeting ads, and at a substantially lower cost per click.

While this is a huge delta, it is important to realize that FBX NF retargeting cannot deliver the scale that standard web retargeting or FBX right-hand side retargeting can, so, unless you are pursuing a FBX NF-centric strategy for some reason, FBX NF retargeting should not be your sole channel.

AFM strategically placed pixels to maximize cookie deployment against desired target sets, segmented its cookie pool to facilitate targeting, and used different messages, call-to-actions and flight windows to target different segments.

AFM deployed around 20 different creative assets for this retargeting campaign, which were optimized on a real-time basis (see one of the 300×250 ad units above). We highlight this because we see many campaigns that only use one set of creative (728×90, 300×250 and 160×600) with the same design and messaging for the entire campaign. Based on our experience, if you are retargeting at scale for a large horizontal event with only one creative execution, KPIs will degrade.

While retargeting can be a very effective marketing tool, any event can launch a retargeting campaign today fairly easily, so retargeting by itself most likely will not differentiate you for too long or at all if your competition is already doing it.

It is how you execute against multiple variables, including pixel placement, interest or intent segmentation, frequency caps, flight windows, creative optimization, cookie duration, CPM bidding, etc., that will provide you an edge and maximize results.

Cristopher Levy runs Encore Media Partners, an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency, which specializes in “live” exhibitions and events. Connect with him on LinkedIn or at clevy@encoremediapartners.com.

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