If you scrolled through your Facebook news feed just ahead of the Black Friday weekend, here’s a few things you may have come across: a shoe hovers in mid-air and then is consumed by flame, a clay princess magically creates another princess made from cereal, and a blue Santa sleigh making a landing in the middle of a Dominican Republic village.

No, your friends didn’t suddenly become more interesting. These were ad campaigns using native video on Facebook to reach a Canadian audience. While you might think Youtube would be the place to push video ads online, Facebook says that more Canadians are in the habit of playing back video posts on their news feeds.

There are more than 20 million Canadians active on Facebook each month and on average, more than half of them are watching a video every day, according to Facebook Canada. With that sort of reach in mind, a few brands crafted a specific video marketing strategy for the Facebook news feed.

Sport Chek eschewed TV ads entirely this year in favour of a Facebook-only video campaign. It had agency BBDO produce 50 different videos that were each targeted at a specific demographic, including this flaming sneaker clip. The effort reached 3.5 million Canadians, 86 per cent of those being on a mobile device. The videos helped drive 57 per cent higher sales for the items advertised compared to those that were not featured in the campaign.

Kellog’s Rice Krispies brand also took to Facebook with a video promoting its #TreatsforToys campaign. The campaign encourages people to post a photo of a Rice Krispies dessert treat in the shape of a toy with the hash tag #TreatsforToys. Kellog’s will donate a toy to a child in need for everyone that does so.

The video featuring a princess-shaped Rice Krispies treat has been viewed 3,383 views at the time of this writing, and Facebook says 78 per cent of impressions were delivered via mobile.

WestJet is known for its annual Christmas videos that combine good deeds with great marketing and it didn’t disappoint this year. While its video is available on Youtube as well, the native Facebook video has also been well-watched, with more than 1.1 million views at time of writing.

In a comment provided to Facebook Canada, senior vice president of Canadian Tire Corp. said that Facebook is a vital channel for Sport Chek and it offers a unique way to present video.

“It is refreshing to not be confined to shooting video for a traditional 30 or 60 second spot. We are observing that the ‘silent 8’ is becoming the new 30 second spot, reflecting average view time of our own videos that autoplay in News Feed,” he says.

What do you think of Facebook’s ads? Would you use them to reach your audience? Let us know in the comments below.

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