The new ad format enables brands that either don't have an ecommerce site or have a minimal ecommerce presence to target consumers with ads that aim to drive them to buy their products online on another retailer's site or app.

Facebook Inc. plans to launch a new ad format on Wednesday that will enable brands that either don’t have ecommerce sites or have a minimal ecommerce presence to target consumers with ads that aim to drive them to buy their products online on another retailer’s site or app. The ads appear on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network, which is the social network’s mobile ad network.

“The idea is to strengthen the relationship between brands and retailers,” says Pablo Menendez, a Facebook product manager. In helping develop those relationships, the social network is enabling brands to drive shoppers to buy its products online via Facebook’s dynamic ads. “That enables them to serve ads that feature the most relevant product to the most relevant consumer.”

The ad format, which Facebook calls Collaborative Ads, relies on online retailers organizing their product catalogs within the social network’s Ad Manager into segments. Doing so enables a brand to create dynamic ads—Facebook’s ad format that targets consumers who have expressed an interest in a retailer’s product on its website or app, or elsewhere on the internet—that drive a consumer to a retailer’s website or app.

The ad format has enabled consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. and consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung to to drive shoppers to buy their products on the eBay Inc.-owned GittiGidiyor, says Feyza Dereli Fedar, the Turkish online marketplace’s chief marketing officer.


While Dereli Fedar declined to share results from its testing of the ads, she notes that many of the brands it works with only sell via the online marketplace and don’t operate their own ecommerce sites. As a result, they’ve largely invested their marketing dollars on upper-funnel, brand awareness campaigns, rather than campaigns that aim to drive sales. “With Collaborative Ads, now they can act like they have their own ecommerce site,” she says. “They can easily manage lower-funnel campaigns to drive more sales and measure it directly.”

Retailers benefit from the ads driving consumers to their sites, and brands pay for the ads on a cost-per-thousand impression basis. Brands, in turn, drive sales of their products online. No customer information is exchanged between the brand and merchant; the brand can only see data regarding the number of their advertised items that were purchased.

Facebook tested the tool for nearly a year before rolling it out. Now, brands can access the tool if merchants selling their products have organized their product catalog into product segments.