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Storytelling in high-growth markets

A good story can break through geographic, linguistic, technological and even cultural boundaries. And thanks to the rapid adoption of mobile phones in high-growth countries, brands have unprecedented opportunity to reach people with stories that are personal, relevant and meaningful.

In this spirit, we recently launched the Creative Accelerator, a programme designed to help brands unlock the power of personal storytelling in high-growth countries.

Through the programme, the Facebook Creative Shop is working with seven clients and their agency partners in India, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya and Turkey to bring brands’ stories to life. The goal is to help establish best practices for high-growth countries by developing campaigns tailored to the people in each country and the devices they use to experience Facebook.

A sampling of the work
Coca-Cola, Kenya
Coca-Cola wanted to spread a message of happiness to people across Kenya. Facebook partnered with Coca-Cola Kenya’s creative agency, McCann in South Africa, to create a campaign across all device- and connection-types in the country. As people uploaded their own #Kenyanhappiness stories, Coca-Cola spread those messages of positivity around the world.

Durex, Indonesia
Durex wanted to reach people on the go and express the message that condoms can make “love pleasurable.” We partnered with Durex’s creative agency in Indonesia, Upnormal Pingfans, to ensure that people accessing Facebook through feature phone and low-end smartphones would be able to seamlessly view the content on their devices. Different copy went out to males and females to take into account the cultural norms associated with condoms and sex in Indonesia.

Nestle Everyday, India
Nestle Everyday wanted to reach people in both metro and rural areas in India. We worked with the brand and its agencies, Publicis Delhi and Media Alliance, to develop creative based on people’s bandwidth strengths and device types. People accessing Facebook with lower bandwidths on feature phones and low-end smartphones received still images from Nestle Everyday. People with stronger bandwidth connections and more sophisticated devices received videos in News Feed.
What we’ve learned so far
Build for everyone
It’s important to create campaigns that account for the wide array of devices and mobile connections people in high-growth countries use to access services like Facebook. If you’re only building content that looks great on iPhones or high-end Android devices, you’re excluding a huge portion of the potential audience.

Tailor content to different experiences
Just because you’re building for everyone doesn’t mean that one size fits all. Facebook looks different on a feature phone than it does on a smartphone. The creative specs for feature phones and older smartphones differ from newer devices. Campaigns that deliver the right creative for the right device will feel more relevant.

Use the same devices as your audience
If you’re building content that’s supposed to work well on feature phones with a 2G connection, there’s no better way to test the experience than to use a feature phone with a 2G connection yourself. Empathy and attention to detail can go a long way toward improving the overall quality of a campaign.

Respect peoples’ bandwidth
Bandwidth targeting on Facebook gives advertisers the ability to send ads based on the quality of a person’s network connection. Brands are now able to develop and send rich media ads, such as videos, to people on faster connections and more relevant pieces of content, such as still images, for those accessing Facebook on a weaker connection.
Facebook is built around people and we’re eager to help businesses create content that matters to people. The Creative Accelerator is just one part of our ongoing efforts in this area, and we look forward to sharing more information about the work in the months ahead.

Mark DArcy

The author, Mark D'Arcy, is Chief Creative Officer of the Facebook Creative Shop