Facebook’s Head of Advertising Says Purpose-Driven Marketing Won’t Slow Down

David Fischer talks the future of social and video at Adobe Summit

Purpose-driven marketing like this Airbnb ad from the Super Bowl may be around to stay. Airbnb
Headshot of Marty Swant

Facebook’s head of advertising said he expects more marketers to join the trend of purpose-driven marketing, following a series of Super Bowl spots that went beyond cute dogs in favor of more meaningful messaging.

Speaking today at the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, David Fischer, Facebook’s vp of advertising and global operations, said he hopes purpose-driven marketing will remain important.

“If you watched the Super Bowl this year and just watched the ads, there weren’t so many of those funny beer, chips and laughing spots,” he said. “They were more a kind of purpose-driven, and I think that’s something that will continue.”

During the game, other brands also voiced support for various causes as purpose-driven marketing gained prominence. Budweiser and 84 Lumber both aired spots on immigration, Audi promoted equal pay for women and Kia promoted environmentally friendly cars.

Fischer mentioned a last-minute Super Bowl ad by Airbnb, “#WeAccept,” which pushed the acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or country of origin. The ad addressed the issue of Airbnb hosts discriminating against some guests, but it also was viewed as a stance against President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.

In fact, the ad was originally built for Facebook, he said. It was formatted in a way that would work on a mobile screen across Facebook and Instagram. But it was also cut in a way that was sensitive to short attention spans, switching from scene to scene to keep viewers interested.

“I think it’s not that iconic storytelling is going to go away,” he said. “But you’ve got to adapt to the times we’re living in.”

@martyswant martin.swant@adweek.com Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.