Facebook Highlights the Work of Platform’s Creators at NewFronts

The showcase extends to a dedicated page and Instagram account

Facebook Newfronts
Facebook's video presentation was divided into three parts. Facebook
Headshot of David Cohen

Unlike many of the other companies presenting this week, Facebook did not use its NewFronts slot to pump up new shows for video destinations on its platform like Facebook Watch.

Instead, the social network provided examples of creative ways agencies, brands and creators have been using the tools available to them, including Facebook Live and Instagram Live, while adapting to the challenges accompanying the Covid-19 crisis.

Facebook has not been a participant in past NewFronts, and it had no plans to be involved this year, either, even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. But it is taking part as a sponsor to support the IAB, one of its partners.

The social network’s video presentation was broken up into three sections.

The Community Collabs portion of the video depicted ways brands incorporated user-generated content into their campaigns. Examples include:

  • Delta asked potential passengers to share the destinations they would like to travel to next, after the pandemic.
  • Luggage brand Away featured people using its products in ways other than their intended purpose, such as during workouts and as pet beds.
  • Fashion brand Calvin Klein evolved its #MyCalvins hashtag to #AtHomeInMyCalvins to enable models and influencers to share images of how they are riding out Covid-19 while wearing its apparel.

The Quarantine Creativity segment, as the name suggests, allowed for innovative uses of features across Facebook’s platform during the era of social distancing. Among those highlighted:

  • U.K. designer Andy Wilson used augmented reality to help share his creations, turning to typography-based messages promoting resistance and unity.
  • Fashion photographer Tyler Joe shared “lo-fi” content, aided by his girlfriend at home, instead of his usual professionally produced images, and he was still able to collaborate with global brands on projects.
  • Luxury fashion retail platform Farfetch tapped video artist Danilo to continue his “A Quarantine Production” as part of its #SupportBoutiques campaign. Danilo produced short interviews featuring creatives from Farfetch’s network detailing their daily routines during lockdown.

The company also included examples of Going Live, which showed how users livestreamed on Facebook and Instagram, including:

  • Boutique fitness brand Barry’s livestreaming workouts from trainers’ homes and local studios on long-form video platform IGTV and Instagram Live.
  • Musician and DJ Little Beats has consistently gone live from lockdown, surrounded by her instruments and her disco ball.
  • Adidas teamed up with Soul Sisters Fitness on routines and one-on-one training sessions via Instagram Live.

While it was not the focus of Facebook’s NewFronts presentation, the social network pointed out that it continues to invest in solutions for traditional video ad buyers, mainly via its Facebook Reserve in-stream offering, which debuted as Facebook Showcase in February 2019.

The social network added to its Facebook Reserve offerings with last month’s introduction of more robust targeting options—the social network’s native targeting capabilities, as well as targeting via Nielsen-designated market areas.

Facebook said advertisers including Anheuser-Busch InBev and Intuit are taking advantage of the social network’s content inventory, including Facebook Watch staples Red Table Talk, Sorry for Your Loss and Steve (starring Steve Harvey).

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.