“The ads we ran in Facebook News Feed and Stories for THE LINE launch were instrumental in amplifying the campaign’s impact and effectively reaching over 68 million people all over the world.” – Anthony Ward, Acting Executive Director of Marketing at NEOM.
THE LINE is an innovative urban living project and a key part of NEOM, an ambitious development aiming to present a new model for sustainable living by 2030. Situated in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, NEOM will cover 26,500sqkm and will extend 460km along the coast of the Red Sea.
Within it, THE LINE is a never-before-seen approach to urbanization – a 170km-long linear urban development of multiple, hyper-connected communities, with walkable neighborhoods integrated with public parks and the natural landscape. THE LINE will blend urban design and livability in harmony with nature. It will be home to one million residents and aims to redefine sustainability for the 21st century and beyond.
In order to spark awareness and interest in THE LINE both in KSA and around the world, NEOM collaborated with Facebook and agency Mindshare MENA to create a multi-layered video campaign displayed on Facebook and Instagram feeds and Stories. The video ads, which ran between January 8 and February 20, 2021, targeted pioneer investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and sustainability activists in 33 countries, from the GCC to the US, Europe, and Japan.
The results were striking, reaching 68 million people around the world, building excitement beyond expectations, and leading to a 3.3-point lift in brand awareness globally and a 2.1-point lift in brand awareness in KSA. In addition, by using Thruplay, Facebook’s ad delivery optimization and billing option for video ads, NEOM was able to achieve high cost-efficiency levels for the campaign.
Here’s what Anthony Ward, Acting Executive Director of Marketing at NEOM, told us about the campaign.
What were the main goals for the digital campaign that ran on Facebook platforms?
The main goal of this video campaign was to raise awareness around THE LINE, NEOM’s groundbreaking city-building project, in KSA and globally, and to target the audience most inclined to be interested in this kind of project, from pioneer investors to sustainability activists.
Why did you choose Facebook’s marketing solutions, out of many alternatives?
Facebook and Instagram are home to nearly three billion users globally, providing brands with the largest advertising opportunity. Facebook ad formats, targeting/retargeting options, and measurement capabilities align very well with our marketing strategy at NEOM. The level of targeting granularity Facebook offers is really strong. This provided us with a meticulous level of detail which allowed us to narrow down the demographics for every ad we ran. Facebook’s advertising platform also offers a robust set of analytics which allowed us to deeply understand the performance of our various ads and enabled us to optimize creatives accordingly.
Which Facebook/Instagram solutions/products did you use for this campaign?
The campaign began with a number of 6-second and 10-second teaser videos on Facebook and Instagram feeds and Stories to generate worldwide interest in the project. Once curiosity was piqued and the teasers had generated enough views, a full 60-second video ad introducing THE LINE followed, using Custom Audiences to provide more information about the project to people who had engaged with the teasers.
To reach people most likely to watch the video, the team chose to use ThruPlay, a Facebook ad delivery optimization and billing option for video ads available through the video views objective. ThruPlay allows advertisers to pay only when ad videos shorter than 15 seconds are played to completion, and when longer videos are played for at least 15 seconds.
What were the results of the campaign and did you achieve your goals?
NEOM’s video ads on Facebook and Instagram raised awareness around the world, with a 3.3-point lift in brand awareness globally and a 2.1-point lift in brand awareness in KSA; 65.6 million 3-second video views at a $0.004 cost per view; and a 16.7% view-through rate.
Which measurement methods did you use to gain new learnings?
We used a Facebook brand lift study along with Facebook Pixel to measure the impact of the ads and activity.