How M.Gemi Tested Video Ads Without A Single Video

by Sandra Rand 2 years ago

You could set a new, complex and hack-proof password for every new online account you create. Or you could just use the same moderately easy password for everything.

You could attempt a Pinterest-worthy craft session with the kids that involves <gulp> glitter. Or you could just put Moana on for the 3rd time today.

You could shop around for a stack of streaming media sources to make sure you can access all your favorite movies and tv shows while eliminating your cable bill. Or you could just send another auto-payment to Comcast.

You could make video content for your Facebook advertising. Or you could just use your existing product images and build another carousel.

Ok, you get the point.

I can’t help you fight Comcast, but I can tell you that there is no reason to avoid making videos for Facebook ads.

Video = The Tom Brady of Ad Types

There are 15 campaign objectives and 8 ad formats that support these objectives on Facebook, and there’s never been a format more consistent than video.

Consumers LOVE video – 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook – and right now it’s Facebook’s preferred ad type to push into News Feed because of that.

We’ve been able to capitalize on this preferred delivery because, frankly, inventory is inexpensive and not hard to get in front of people.

Virtually all of our largest e-commerce clients are running video ads exclusively.

See, the beauty of video – and something that so many advertisers still get hung up on – is that it doesn’t have to be polished. It doesn’t have to echo the big budget, high production TV ads that require a lot of time and resources (see: More Bacon ad we used for ButcherBox).

This is why video impressions are affordable right now. Advertisers can’t get beyond this mindset and instead default to link ads and carousels; they are less intimidating ad types that seemingly require fewer resources.

How M.Gemi Tested Video Advertising


M.Gemi was one company that had all the necessary gumption to test video, but the team was mired in creative constraints that prohibited them from getting it off the ground right away.

Enter slideshow.

With OrionCKB being a certified Nanigans partner, we utilized Nanigans’ Campaign Management interface to launch slideshow campaigns, and the process couldn’t be easier for the team.

Since we were previously running link ads, we had a library of static images we could use to build slideshows.

Building the rest of the slideshow simply involved choosing how long we wanted each image to show on the screen before it moved on and selecting the transition type for effect.

For their predominantly female audience (more than 90% of spend), Slideshow drove better performance over image/link ads:


  • Conversion rate – up 33%
  • CPA – down 10%

The beauty of Nanigans’ automation is that it provides an optimum testing ground for multiple ad variations, allowing ads to run in order to gather enough data to make some decisions.

Rather than dynamically optimizing toward higher-performing ad creative before statistical significance is reached, our team was able to analyze the breadth of performance KPIs, costs, bids, and goals before deciding to push Slideshow ads to female audiences.

Having this level of control was crucial in order to give our client the peace of mind in knowing we’d thoroughly vetted this new ad type.

Since starting to use Slideshow, M.Gemi has since been able to add higher production video ads to their creative testing rotation, but the simplicity of slideshows have actually shown to drive better performance with male audiences.


Regardless, video ads continued to perform even better for female audiences since this test and have warranted additional budget to keep the momentum going while competing in the saturated News Feed.

Best Practices for Facebook Slideshow Ads

This is less painful than building a powerpoint deck, so from that perspective, this is a no brainer. What are our two biggest recommendations for slideshows on Facebook?

  • (1) Test Video Concepts This Way First – Before you invest in full-blown video content, you can test concepts, storylines and imagery to see what catches users’ attention most. Should you do an animated video or use lifestyle video with actual people? Grayscale or bright colors? Test everything with slideshow and see which direction you should go in.
  • (2) Show Some Personality – This isn’t a live action video so you’ll have to do a little more than splice a bunch of images together. Facebook’s Native Tool gives you the freedom to add text overlays, music/voiceovers, logos, and even access to stock imagery to put together a full piece of content. Layering these elements make it feel like you invested in a high production video without it actually costing nearly as much.

The conventional wisdom is to test a new ad type before you start putting a significant amount of your budget into it. If you don’t have existing video assets to borrow from, and you can’t break from the idea that video has to be this polished, TV-ready piece of creative, slideshow is by far the easiest way to test video without actually spending a lot of time or money creating one.

At the very least, it’s easier than trying to break up with Comcast.

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